The Caves of Steel (Robot Series) Paperback – 25 Oct 1993
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‘One of the classic presentations of the womb-city, metropolis as mother, which has haunted imaginations ever since… The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun are the best books Isaac Asimov ever wrote’ The Guardian
From the Inside Flap
A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's "Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together. Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start. Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worst of all was that the "R" stood for robot--and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
However, that is only one of the factors in this science fiction/mystery novel. It works well on both levels. I've seen some criticism of the mystery elements, but with careful reading, the seasoned mystery reader will spot the necessary clues leading to the conclusion.
The basic plot involves New York City detective Elijah Bailey's teaming with R. Daneel Olivaw, a spacer android, to solve the murder of a prominent spacer scientist. Earth's population is, as a whole, fearful of the growing use of robots. There's a combination of distrust of the robots and fear of robots taking over even complex jobs on an overcrowded Earth, and the police detective himself resents having to work with a non-human. Naturally, this changes in time as the two work together to solve the crime and as Bailey learns of the outer worlds' objective of inspiring Earth's participation in colonizing other worlds.
As a whole, the story is well plotted and should encourage those new to Asimov to continue reading the robot series and then the Empire and Foundation books.
The plot focuses on earth in the far flung future where humanity's numbers have swelled to immense proportions causing the creation of "cities", giant enclosed superstructures capable of housing millions of people where food and space are planned and regulated accordingly. Hummanity has also spread out to the stars and colonized other planets without the overpopulation or resource limitations causing a rather large rift between them and earth, they are know as "spacers".
One of these spacers has been murdered on earth potentially causing diplomatic problems between the two already struggling cultures. In steps detective Baley, an earthman who doesn't like robots to investigate. The spacers are willing to hold off consequences on the condition that one of them investigate with him, problem is Daneel is a robot.
For a book about the police and robots there is surprisingly little action, instead it focuses on the possibility of humanities future, it's struggling differences, and it's use of advancing technology and the divide that causes. I enjoyed the book all the more for that and found it not only interesting material but also rather clever in it's examination of culture and survival.
All in all a good book if a little short, next up the sequel The Naked Sun, I can see myself becoming an Asimov fan.
+ Well developed themes running throughout.
+ Interesting characters.
Ok, that's the gripe about the synopsis over and done with.
Earth, thousands of years into the future. Massively overpopulated ever everyone loves in one of 800 Cities - enormous structures that protect their population from the outside, the feed them, Clothe then and nurture them. There is nothing wrong with the outside, it's just that people have been closeted in the Cities for so long that they simply don't go outside. On the outskirts of New York is Spacertown. A reminder to earth that it lost the war against is one time colonies of in the stars. Spacertown is where the ever arrogant and superior spaces stay when visiting old Earth. And now one of them is dead. Murdered. A major diplomatic incident needs to be avoided as any such week price very costly for dear old Earth. Plainclothesman Elijah Baley , C5 rated, of the New York police department is assigned the case along with a partner from the space community. Solving the case will save Earth and will also save Elijah Baley and his family , because fake is not an option.
I've always loved the good doctors books and these books that start what turned into the Robots and Foundation series, a massive conglomeration of a lot of his scifi works, are among my favourites of all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As will all Asimov books it is absolutely brilliant BUT the quality of the print in this book is extremely poor. Many of the letters like 'o' and 'e' and filled in with ink. Read morePublished 1 day ago by deltaromeo
Interesting view of the future of Earth and mankind, with an unsatisfactory detective plot spun through it. Not as good as The Naked Sun, but better than The Robots of Dawn. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Richard M Marshall
Remember it from years ago still hasn't lost the plot. Well worth a bit of light reading a good Azimov novel.Published 9 days ago by tony
Always a huge fan of Asimov - this replaces my previous copy that got spoiled through unsuitable storage conditions. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Mr. Steven J. Parkes
the sci-fi is a bit more fi than si. Definitely overrated! If you like very good sci-fi, read "Solaris" by Lem or "The Martian". Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a re-read of Asimov's first full length robot novel from the early 50s. These early robot (and the Foundation) novels are so much part of my youth that I find it hard to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John Hopper
What can I say that hasn't already been said. It's a classic, a very good crime / detective novel and deals with homophobia and fear of the Unknown in an intelligent manner.... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Angelika parker
In the far distant future, Earth has become vastly overcrowded and the strain on resources has forced humanity into living cheek by jowl in massive closed in cities – the caves of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by FictionFan