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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An essential link in Asimov's future history
This was written much later than the original two robot novels, the three Empire novels, and the Foundation trilogy. It and the following book, ROBOTS AND EMPIRE, link the first two robot books with the Empire series and leads up to Foundation.
There are a couple of points easy to miss here. First, psychohistory is first suggested by Dr. Fastolfe, and then advanced...
Published on May 19, 2003 by Neal Reynolds

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Great, Some Not So Great
Robots of Dawn is now the most personal of Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation universe for me. Parts of this book kick colon, however, parts fail miserably. I'll get to that in a sec -

Once again we have a murder mystery for Elijah Baily and R. Daneel Olivaw to unravel, this time on Auroria, home-planet of R. Daneel. Dr. Fastolfe is prime suspect of 'roboticide'...
Published on July 24, 2010 by Steven


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An essential link in Asimov's future history, May 19, 2003
By 
Neal Reynolds (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
This was written much later than the original two robot novels, the three Empire novels, and the Foundation trilogy. It and the following book, ROBOTS AND EMPIRE, link the first two robot books with the Empire series and leads up to Foundation.
There are a couple of points easy to miss here. First, psychohistory is first suggested by Dr. Fastolfe, and then advanced by the two robots. Secondly, while there is a mystery involved here, the emphasis is on the future of space exploration and who is going to be in it. The original pioneers into space have become spoiled by their reliance on their robots and no longer have the spirit of adventure necessary to continue further exploration, and yet they are fearful of the idea of generally despised Earth people colonizing planets.
So much indeed is at stake here. For full enjoyment, I suggest reading first the Susan Calvin stories and also "The Bicentennial Man" which are in Asimov's THE COMPLETE ROBOT, and then THE CAVES OF STEEL and THE NAKED SUN, the first two Elijah Bailey & R. Daneel Olivaw novels. And be prepared for this book to be more centered on mankind's future venturing into space than in the mystery element.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant third installment to the Robot Series, January 26, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
Just when you thought the first two books "Caves of Steel" and "The Naked Sun" were as good as Asimov gets, here comes "The Robots of Dawn" and knocks them both down in one blow.
In this novel, a middle aged Detective Elijah Baley sets out on his most defying investigation ever. His journey takes him to the capital of the Spacer Worlds; the planet Aurora, where he is reunited with his old partner R. Daneel Olivaw.
The story has everything that I missed in the first two books, including some romance with the sexy Gladia Delmarre (which Lije was always too cautious about in "The Naked Sun").
Asimov hooks you on the "whodunnit" trail right from the start, and gives you a knock on the head right at the end. Truly spectacular, a work of a genuis.
In this book, Asimov makes Aurora feel like your own world, describing every bit of detail with superb depictions and without a single sense of tediousness. For the first time, the relationship of robots with humans when it comes to sexual intercourse is explored, and how the three laws of robotics handle it.
An absolute MUST read for all those who adored the first two books of the robot series. Isaac Asimov, I personaly salute you.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect dialogue subtly explores human interactions., April 20, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
The best science fiction places more emphasis on the art of fiction than on the excitement inherent in the promise of future science. It is Asimov's brilliance to place timeless themes of human conflict in a unique setting, permitting an examination of those themse from previously unknown perspectives.
And so in "Robots Of Dawn" Elijah Baley, the quintessential Everyman, is thrust into conflict by forces beyond his control and is forced to confront a succession of seemingly intractable problems charged with terrible geo-political and personal ramifications Baley is armed only with his relentlessly honest character, and two very useful, but also very limited aids, in the robots Daneel and Giskard. The dialogue that Baley has with his robot assistants is near-perfect in pitch, as the three work relentlessly, with a combination of pure logic on the part of the robots and logic tempered by knowledge of human nature on the part of Baley, through each hurdle presented by a hopelessly insoluable murder mystery.
That the mystery will be solved is left in doubt to the very end of the story, and each suceeding chapter brings the reader both closer to and farther from the solution. In the course of unveiling clues to the murder, clues to nature of human conflict, to Asimov's "Psychohistory," are also revealed, and carefully explored.
In the end, while the solution to the murder is wholly satisfying, it is the depth of the characters, their extraordinarily real personalities, that stays with the reader. This book is not just for science fiction readers, but for anyone who enjoys beautiful, clear, and highly intelligent writing.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Great, Some Not So Great, July 24, 2010
By 
Steven (Colorado, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
Robots of Dawn is now the most personal of Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation universe for me. Parts of this book kick colon, however, parts fail miserably. I'll get to that in a sec -

Once again we have a murder mystery for Elijah Baily and R. Daneel Olivaw to unravel, this time on Auroria, home-planet of R. Daneel. Dr. Fastolfe is prime suspect of 'roboticide' by causing a mental freeze-out on Jander Panell, the only other humaniform robot in existence (the other of course being R. Daneel). As we know from Caves of Steel, Dr. Fastolfe is the most brilliant roboticist known, and the creator of the humaniform robot. It is of prime urgency that Elijah prove to the Chairman of Auroria that Han Fastolfe is innocent. This is not only in the interest of Han and Elijah, but for the interest of Earth and humanity.

Certain qualities of this book are excellent. For instance Asmimov crafts dialog between characters masterfully. Some people may complain about this book having too much of it, but for me Asimov pulls it off with such force and drive that I feel like reading it forever, often into the wee hours of night.

There are aspects of this book that I just didn't like. I love Asimov for the same reason I love a good Pixar movie, it's innocence. Other works of Asimov are very G to PG type material and with Robots of Dawn things change. It just doesn't feel right. Don't get me wrong, I love dark novels, I'm not prude or goodie-goodie at all so it's not an issue of personal hangups, it's more an issue of just feeling like Asimov is trying too hard to be edgy and an author of his caliber just doesn't need to go there.

Some of the ideas explored here are infidelity without guilt, um... self-serving sexual satisfaction, sex with robots and sexual tensions between a father and his own daughter. I don't have a problem reading about these ideas, I just have a problem with Asimov writing about them if you know what I mean.

The other problem I have is that some of this book feels a bit forced. I can tell where Asimov is force-fitting pieces so that he can tie this whole universe together. The investigation that Elijah goes on itself is well done but certain plot devices used with a character named Giskard are a bit too convenient and a bit corny in my opinion. I wont delve into that because it would be impossible to do so without giving away major spoilers.

I hope as I move forward in the Robot/Empire/Foundation series Asimov goes back to just great writing with innocence. I'm reading these books chronologically (with the exception of Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation, those will be last) so hopefully when I move to the Foundation books and his other earlier works they stay consistent with the Asimov's style that I've now come to know and love.

Oh well, I'll get over it. I know Asimov's potential and this may just be one of his rare duds for me. I give this one an optimistic 2.5 (rounded to 3 for Amazon). I still very much look forward to reading more Asimov.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking. A good read., October 21, 2002
By 
Roger J. Buffington (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a worthy addition to the alternate history introduced in "The Caves of Steel" and "The Naked Sun." Asimov postulates that mankind has established successful interstellar colonies (the "Outer Worlds"), but that these colonies have turned hostile to the home world of Earth. Aurora, the most powerful of the Outer Worlds, has experienced a murder, of a sort, and seeks the services of Elijah Baley, a detective of Earth. The notion is plausible: Earth is overcrowded and used to dealing with police work, while crime is virtually unknown on the Outer Worlds. Baley's reputation is already known to Aurora by his accomplishments in the earlier novels.
We quickly learn that the real issues deal with matters infinitely more profound than a single murder. The Outer Worlds are debating the future colonization of the galaxy, and the role, if any, of Earth. The novel does a good job of showing the importance of this issue, and tying the matter of the "murder" and Baley's success or failure, to it. The end is startling.
The writing is a little more wordy than Asimov's earlier novels, and Asimov's age shows a little--as illustrated by two and three page descriptions of Outer World lavatories which are present in several portions of the novel, for what reason I cannot imagine. Nevertheless, setting these quirks aside (they are quirks) the novel is a good read for anyone interested in Asimov's Robot novels, and further, it ties the Robot novels to the Foundation series "future history." Hard not to like a book that can do all that!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it doesn't end here, March 11, 2007
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This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
Having read the first two books as a teenager, I came back to the good doctor and certainly I wasn't dissapointed. Some of the other comments here critizes badly the novel, but look, first it is a lot of fun to read; maybe is a little better if you know all the guys from the other novels so you can really identify their pasts and stories in a broader perspective; certainly after Spielberg's AI and then the own I Robot and the Bicentennial Man as movies, you are expecting something with the mind of us modern inhabitants of the first decade of the 21st century. But precisely for that in the light of transhumanism and the things expected with the role of robots and artificial personas in the coming years -just like now how it is with real life and avatars- you realize that the way they do lived in Solaria, were nobody sees each other in the flesh but just as a hologram, the things here about love between human and machine -by the way I just love my powerbook!!!- you see not only Asimov is aging quite well, but he is very well doing his duty of forecast as Verne did.

Very surprising for me was to go to Wikipedia and learn at the Daneel R Olivaw enter, that it doesn't end here, the character lives way beyond until foundation, becoming the longest living character of the Asimov's universe covering well into his 20, 000 birthday.

Give yourself the time to have a glimpse of your own teenage years, and if you are a young reader, or planning to give to one just have in mind that very surprisingly the book has some mild intense erotic scenes, a surprise in Asimov, and much more since I am molded to have the same erotic interest than the legendary Susan Calvin, but nothing at all to be an indecent book, just a little spicy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's been a while since I read it, but it's still the best, May 31, 2005
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
I read the Foundation books before this and the 2nd Robot novel. This is by far the best book he has written in that genre; Foundation / Robot. This was a book that went deep into the characters and even had a well crafted romance. "Romance?!? By *gasp* Asimov?!" Yes, romance. It reads like a great crime novel that happens to take place in space. It even has the buddy detectives; one hard boiled space-phobic cynic, the other a logical robot with a pure soul.

Yep, sounds sappy on paper, but he pulls it off. This was Asimov's "adult" novel. Less gee-wiz and more plot development. Yes, he still clings to his formula but he really makes the formula sing.

You should really read the first 2 robot novels before this one. Then you will really appreciate how much heart he put ino this one. You can really tell he loved these characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asimov Robots are the best, March 22, 2002
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
Police Investigator Lije Baley has solved several mysteries with his robot partner and friend R. Daneel Olivaw, but now he is presented with an impossible situation--and a situation that Earth's and humanity's survival depends upon. A human-formed robot has been 'killed,' yet the only man with the capacity to destroy the robot in this way is the man whose efforts may save Earth. Worse, Baley's investigations take place on Aurora, the planet of dawn. And on Aurora, as in all the spacer world, Earth-humans are regarded as sewers of disease, short life, and ignorance.
Author Isaac Asimov develops his most emotionally compelling stories in his robot series and THE ROBOTS OF DAWN certainly shows this lineage. Not only is Baley re-united with his partner, but he also finds himself involved with the spacer woman who holds a special place in his heart. Using a combination of logic, bull-headed determination, and intuitive leaps, Baley proves that good investigative techniques are a universal, whether on Earth or in the spacer worlds.
Asimov, one of the masters of the golden age of Science Fiction, further develops his wonderful partnership between human and robot. While perhaps not as powerfully compelling as the two earlier works in this series (THE CAVES OF STEEL and THE NAKED SUN), fans of these books will find THE ROBOTS OF DAWN completely enjoyable. Likewise, fans of Asimov's FOUNDATION series will find that Asimov used ROBOTS as a transitional novel between these two series, explaining how the society described in the Robot books is able to transform into that of FOUNDATION.
Written in the early 1980s, ROBOTS shows a mixture of sophisticated futurism and curious misses. I was amused by the way Asimov's robots skillfully input data into the computer system--surely any robot sophisticated enough to be self-aware would be able to input data directly (e.g., through a wireless, wired, or infra-red link) rather than requiring digital manipulation. Readers who consider the pre-PC era in which this novel was written, however, will appreciate Asimov's reach in his futurism rather than his misses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read for fun or to study artificial intelligence, September 2, 2002
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
... With a backdrop of human cultures on several worlds with enormous social and political differences, the context of the story creates subtle plot lines that can be followed many ways. There is the crowded planet Earth, where the population has retreated under domes and no longer experiences weather and has extreme phobias towards robots. The Spacer worlds are sparsely populated, and the population avoids human contact, except when necessary for breeding. Nearly all of the work on the Spacer worlds is done by robots, which outnumber the humans by hundreds to one. The Spacer worlds consider humans to be dirty creatures, harboring many infectious agents and it is socially unacceptable for humans to travel to Spacer worlds.
However, there is no better investigator than Lije Baley, and when a prized robot on a Spacer world has it's mind destroyed, he is called from Earth to solve the mystery. Like Asimov's other robot stories, the plot hinges many times on conflicts arising from the three laws of robotics. So simple to state, the number of nuances that Asimov can generate from them is amazing. ... there are so many possible angles to the story that the ending was truly a surprise.
At this time, no one really knows what the structure of the brain of the first truly intelligent robots will be like. However, it is certain that social and legal pressures will dictate that the three laws of robotics must be embedded into their behavior. Asimov has given us a glimpse into the future in his stories about robots and their potential behaviors. The scientific predictions may fail, but there is no doubt that he is accurate concerning the behavior of robots. ...
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return of Asimov, December 11, 1999
This review is from: The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
Well, here it is: the final robots mystery starring Baley and Daneel. Personally, I think this falls to second or third place in the trilogy, with The Naked Sun as first place. This is in no way a knock of the book, mind you. This book's plot is more involved, making the mystery aspect even tougher to solve. I had thought of the solution, but never given it any thought. This novel takes place on Aurora, the main Spacer world. Its a pleasent mix--not population saturated like Earth, but not robot city like Solaria. My only sort of complaint--sometimes it seemed a bit too long. However, when I finished it, I wished it was longer. Go figure. Now that this novel is done, and Baley has solved his final case, there is only one place to go-- Robots and Empire
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The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series)
The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series) by Isaac Asimov (Mass Market Paperback - March 1, 1994)
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