The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Compared to the first two Robot novels that were written a full 30 years before this third even saw print, I thought it should have been superior. I wanted it to be superior.
Unfortunately, while the exhaustive and thorough uncovering of the robot-murder mystery was pretty interesting, my enjoyment of it was dampened by an equally thorough focus on human sexuality.
Let me be very clear on this: it's not the fact that sexuality is that big a deal in general. It's the fact that it's like reading a '50s viewpoint of stifled sexuality getting such a mild revamping as to say "It's okay, mmmkay," at ALL. As in, yes, people, it's ok to like sex. Really. And have to spend something like half the book focused on it. The sex scene was extremely mild. What's kinda funny about all this is that Asimov does take a modest and relatively scientific view of it all. It's super mild. Even the robots having relationships with humans, as a whole, is super mild.
Now, if there are some undercurrents going on here that we're supposed to read into, I'm sure this is pretty nice and all, but it is extremely dated by now.
All in all, I kinda wish all that was left out and we just have the single touch in the second novel and a reference to it in this, with nothing more than an emotional current without all the thorough philosophizing about why an orgasm is perfectly okay, mmmkay.
I'm laughing here. If I compare this stuff to, say, Heinlein at the same period, in the '80s, or even back in the '60s, the other author is WAY beyond Asimov and superior.
And yet, Asimov still has what he's very good at, and so I shall not complain overmuch. :) He's solid and clear and thorough.
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