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A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: DP
Date: October 15, 2020 11:03AM
I've read the Foundation series and the Robot series plus a few of his other books. But I found some holes in the Foundation books dealing with the robots so, upon doing a little research, I discovered another Robot series book titled Robots and Empire.

The reason it took me awhile to find the book is that I've been getting my books in e-book form and it appears that Robots and Empire is not available in e-book form! I ordered it then in paperback and am reading it now. I'm only in to the first one hundred pages and a lot is answered already!

So, why wouldn't this book not be in e-book form?

As a side note, I was also surprised that I was informed it would take three weeks to get it! What? C'mon-just throw it in and envelope and drop it at the post office on the way home! And a used book at that...

But when I received it, it seems that the book is brand new and it came from the UK! That explains the wait...





Back to music...

Disclaimer: This post is checked for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Any attempts at humor are solely the responsibility of the author and bear no claim that any and all readers will approve or appreciate said attempt at humor.
My name is DP, and I approve this message.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: October 15, 2020 11:21AM
I have no idea why F&E wouldn't be available in an e-book, seems random

That book was specifically written in a set of books by AA to tie many of his older books together to make a more cohesive Future History a la Heinlein's. I've read all of them recently in the recommended time line and they hold up pretty well except for a few early science guesses (Currents of Space - meh). Overall I rather liked them.

Which is good as I tried to read the original Foundation trilogy as a kid and barely got through the first book before I put the second down and then didn't touch it again for 35 years. Coincidentally I did the exact same thing with LotR. And I remembered *nothing* of either of those two first books when I read them again those 35 years later. I dunno why but the very 2 series which were competing for the first ever Hugo award just never clicked with me as a SciFi and Fantasy kid.

Weird. But that's nothing new.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: Ca Bob
Date: October 15, 2020 11:54AM
Clark was so much better as a writer, particularly when he was writing short stories early in his career. The Nine Billion Names of God collection of early stories is, by itself, a collection of many of the very best stories in the entire genre. I find Asimov's characters to be rather dry, and the plot lines center around some deus ex machina idea -- you can predict future trends with a sort of mathematical sociology, and I can build a robot that thinks and obeys three laws. Asimov was, I think, best when he wrote short stories playing with the behavior of some robot that seemed to be acting weirdly, but on deeper analysis, was shown to be acting according to the laws.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: RgrF
Date: October 15, 2020 12:01PM
It seems there are a lot of older works that never got digitized. If you are that into Assimov you might like this:

An Asimov Companion
Characters, Places and Terms in the Robot/Empire/Foundation Metaseries
by Donald E. Palumbo

It ties together a lot of his prodigious lifeworks.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: October 15, 2020 01:27PM
Quote
Ca Bob
Clark was so much better as a writer, particularly when he was writing short stories early in his career. The Nine Billion Names of God collection of early stories is, by itself, a collection of many of the very best stories in the entire genre. I find Asimov's characters to be rather dry, and the plot lines center around some deus ex machina idea -- you can predict future trends with a sort of mathematical sociology, and I can build a robot that thinks and obeys three laws. Asimov was, I think, best when he wrote short stories playing with the behavior of some robot that seemed to be acting weirdly, but on deeper analysis, was shown to be acting according to the laws.

Clarke for the win. Reading Rendevous with Rama to the youngest and he really had a flair for drawing in the reader.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 15, 2020 01:43PM
Quote
Lew Zealand
Quote
Ca Bob
Clark was so much better as a writer, particularly when he was writing short stories early in his career. .

Clarke for the win. Reading Rendevous with Rama to the youngest and he really had a flair for drawing in the reader.
The Engineer was strong in Clarke. Read Glide Path for a novelization of his engineering work in WWII on early landing radar systems.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: Rolando
Date: October 15, 2020 01:43PM
Asimov wasn't much of a writer, but had an incredible imagination. My son tried to get into Foundation as a teenager, but I warned him, its a different kind of writing, a different era. He didn't finish...



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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: sekker
Date: October 15, 2020 02:28PM
Quote
Rolando
Asimov wasn't much of a writer, but had an incredible imagination. My son tried to get into Foundation as a teenager, but I warned him, its a different kind of writing, a different era. He didn't finish...

Nope, he 'only' wrote 500+ books...

[en.wikipedia.org]
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: October 15, 2020 02:52PM
....sometimes for no reason.....will just laugh my Asim.....off.......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: DP
Date: October 15, 2020 03:06PM
The issue I had with the Rama series was that, if I was born on Rama, and found out I was basically a hostage, I would have been highly annoyed!

But what is interesting is the copy I received that was printed in the UK (in 2018) brings up the notion that it's not in print here in the US?

Plus, it's got that funny spelling the Brits use...





Back to music...

Disclaimer: This post is checked for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Any attempts at humor are solely the responsibility of the author and bear no claim that any and all readers will approve or appreciate said attempt at humor.
My name is DP, and I approve this message.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: sunfalcon
Date: October 15, 2020 03:13PM
Clarke fan here too as well! I read the Foundation series over 25 years ago and have to say I have lost most of it...
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: JoeH
Date: October 15, 2020 03:23PM
Quote
DP
But what is interesting is the copy I received that was printed in the UK (in 2018) brings up the notion that it's not in print here in the US?

The US publishers of SF&F are not real consistent on keeping their back catalog in print. So once you get past the "standards" ordering a new copy depends on finding some seller with copies in stock. My experience in the past was that the UK publishers were a bit better at this, but that may have changed.

Not too surprised you could not find an US copy of Robots & Empire to purchase. While it did well enough since its release in the '80s, it doesn't get suggested as a "must read" like the Foundation trilogy or the Robot series.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: sekker
Date: October 15, 2020 03:42PM
I'm amazed at how well Asimov's AND Clarke's stories have aged. They both missed the freedom of the current internet and the result of free searches via google, but few did (Brin, a more contemporary SciFi writer, as a notable exception).

Not trying to get this put to The Other Side, but the politics they describe seem to be even MORE accurate than their science fiction predictions...
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: October 15, 2020 04:06PM
I personally think Clarke left Asimov in the dust in terms of the quality of his fiction writing. That said, they're both giants of the field for good reason.

("Rendezvous With Rama" would not be my first pick of his novels, though. It reminds me of the first Star Trek movie, the heroes find a giant spacecraft and from then on nothing much happens.)
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: RgrF
Date: October 15, 2020 05:14PM
To get more current, Cixin Liu is an amazingly inventive SF writer whose work has been translated into English over the last few years. I'd suggest stating with The Three-body Problem the start of a three volume series or Ball Lightning a stand alone novel. All of his novels are intertwined so jumping in at his latest might not be the best way to get into his work.

For more of an adventure SF series check out Richard K. Morgan and Altered Carbon.
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: srf1957
Date: October 15, 2020 07:15PM
For just sitting down and. reading to be entertained . I would rather read Clifford Simak from that era .
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Re: A question for those of you familiar with Isaac Asimov's Robot series...
Posted by: BlueCoin
Date: October 16, 2020 07:37AM
Yes! Clifford Simak! Funny thing I was just thinking about reading him again a couple months ago. I recall a amusing story about a novel kind of "vacuum cleaner."
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