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Robots and Empire (1985)

de Isaac Asimov

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Foundation Expanded Universe (5), Isaac Asimov's Robot Series (7)

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4,278362,073 (3.84)55
Long after his humiliating defeat at the hands of Earthman Elijah Baley, Keldon Amadiro embarked on a plan to destroy planet Earth. But even after his death, Baley's vision continued to guide his robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, who had the wisdom of a great man behind him and an indestructable will to win....… (mais)
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» Veja também 55 menções

Inglês (32)  Italiano (1)  Francês (1)  Eslovaco (1)  Húngaro (1)  Todos os idiomas (36)
Mostrando 1-5 de 36 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The individual parts of the book--3 different stories, or rather 3 different time/action episodes of the same story--piece together to complete each other. The problem is that Asimov gets kludgy in trying to tie too many concepts/themes together: namely the links to the Foundation Trilogy are too contrived to be believable (along with the romantic interest). Except for his explanation of how the Earth, in "The Second Foundation", became radioactive. Meanwhile, there are a couple of physical action episodes to offset the main thrust of Asimov's verbal struggles that form his primary source of excitement. ( )
  majackson | Jun 17, 2021 |
feels like it's just written to bridge between his Elijah Bailey books and his later Foundation novels ( )
  aeceyton | Dec 26, 2020 |
Robots and Empire is one of the great works of literary arc welding, and one of Isaac Asimov’s last major novels, weaving together the Robot, Empire and Foundation series and threading the Laws of Robotics to the development of psychohistory. It is also a great showcase of Asimov’s strengths and weaknesses as a writer.

I’ll start with the weaknesses, since I’ve become a bit more sensitive to them since I started seriously reading Asimov in high school. Asimov’s writing style is incredibly dry. This makes it incredibly readable – the pages practically whipped by – but there’s almost no flavor to the text, no sensory or descriptive details, no cleverly-crafted sentences or zippy exchanges of dialogue. Nothing that makes you pause and want to re-read a line two or three times. The characters speak with the rote formality of actors in a workplace safety video, and have about the same emotional depth. Gladia Solaria is a weirdly difficult protagonist, almost aggressively resenting having to do anything to advance the plot. (There’s ‘refusing the call to adventure’ and then there’s ‘disagreeing with everything like an actor who doesn’t know the first rule of improv’.) And the first half of the book feels like filler, revolving around a mystery that is strangely irrelevant to the Earth-centric plot.

But there are also some parts done well. R. Daneel Olivaw and R. Giskard Reventlov carry most of the story on their shoulders, and their arcs do excellent jobs as capstones to the Robots and Foundation series. The development of the Zeroth Law – a robot may not harm humanity, or through any inaction, allow humanity to come to harm – is puzzled out only with great angst to the robots. Part of this, surely, was so that the final realization could occur at the climax of the book, but I felt it was also an excellent representation of the struggle to balance ‘Greater Good’ utilitarianism with small-l liberal beliefs in inviolable individual rights. The final chapter still surprised and impressed me, even if its conclusion should have been foregone.

In nitpick territory, there are all sorts of plot holes that I feel like the Golden Age of Science Fiction didn’t quite have the concepts to address. Even if the Spacers, with their elongated lives, lacked the dynamism of the short-lived Settlers, surely they could’ve simply sat back and programmed their robots to (a) make more robots and (b) colonize the universe for them. How do Daneel and Giskard not know everything (or at the very least, as much a young human like Mandamus?) when they have perfect memories and two hundred uneventful years sitting around on Aurora? How did no one else program a way around the First Law, or grant robots telepathy, given that neither of these seem to have been exceptionally difficult to do? By the time you get endgame Daneel, with telepathy and comprehension of the Zeroth Law, how do you not get an Empire run by benevolent robot nannies ensuring galactic peace and immortality for all?

I wish the book had dived a little deeper into the sociological questions it raised, but that might have been outside of the novel. The science fiction is, in Asimovian fashion, rather on the soft side, though it’s amusing to note how the working of nuclear fission is pretty much the only sci-fi concept explored with any hardness, like the dying embers of the Atomic Age obsessions. I didn’t particularly mind the abruptness of the ending (I read Neal Stephenson, after all), but it did feel like some of the characters deserved a little more of a send-off. And I was pleased that Stephen Byerley got a shout-out, as he’s always been my favorite of Asimov’s creations.

Not really sure if I could recommend it to anyone who isn’t already a serious fan of Asimov, but it was a quick and not unenjoyable read. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
Robot mind control
brainwashed into decency
my shiny hero. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
This was my favourite book of the Robot series by far. The characters felt more vital and life-like in this one and I was clearly able to follow the action from inception to climax. I liked the story a lot, and felt that Asimov did wonders with his already established universe and that the climax was a particularly eventful treat. All in all, a good novel and a worthy finish to a good series!

4 stars! ( )
  DanielSTJ | Apr 7, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Asimov, Isaacautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Foss, ChrisArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Naveira, Rosa S. deTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Shaw, BarclayArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Whelan, MichaelArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Long after his humiliating defeat at the hands of Earthman Elijah Baley, Keldon Amadiro embarked on a plan to destroy planet Earth. But even after his death, Baley's vision continued to guide his robot partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, who had the wisdom of a great man behind him and an indestructable will to win....

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813 — Literature American and Canadian American fiction

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