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The Gods Themselves Mass Market Paperback – September 4, 1990
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What is the book about? The book contains 3 parts, each is actually a separate story which revolve around the same theme.
The first part tells the story of Dr. Peter Lamont, a physicist, which recalls how the "Electric Pump", a device which enables receiving a near-infinite amount of energy as a result of matter transferral between our universe, and another universe which has different laws of nature. Lamont finds that this device might destroy our solar system, and this story depicts his attempt to stop the pump. I really liked this story. It's written in typical Asimov style: witty, humorous and totally brilliant.
The second part tells the story of Odeen, Dua and Tritt - an alien "Triplet" (3 beings which are a family). These aliens live in the other universe and the story describes what happens on this side of the pump (as a result of the events from part one). As I mentioned before, this part was truly amazing.Read more ›
One of the things I like about this novel is the way the Friedrich von Schiller quotation "Against stupidity, the [very] Gods themselves contend in vain" is worked into the story. The three phrases that make up this quote - "Against Stupidity...", "...The Gods Themselves...", and "...Contend In Vain?" are used as chapter titles - and, what's more, these titles are quite appropos to the theme of each chapter.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the novel is the second chapter, which portrays a most unusual, and wholly believable and consistent alien race. Science fiction authors often struggle with the difficulty of portraying an alien race that is different enough from humans to be believable as aliens, yet similar enough to make their motives and culture graspable by a human reader. Asimov succeeds brilliantly in this task, something I can say for only a few other SF titles.
At the risk of sounding PC, I was also pleased that Asimov introduced a strong female supporting character, something not usually found in most of his works. The "Selene" character introduced in the third chapter is reminescent of the strong female leads found in many Heinlien novels.
Any fan of Asimov's works - or, for that matter, any fan of good science fiction should add this book to their essential collection.Read more ›
In this novel, Asimov creates a totally believable alien race, complete with three sexes (and he deftly handles their mating or lovemaking with amazing sensitivity and creativity.) A bridge between the alien universe and ours offers something for each side, seemingly for free, but scientists on both sides begin to sense that something is evilly wrong. How the wrong is righted is quite surprising and touching. The alien adolescents Odeen, Dua and Tritt are fascinating together. Dua shines as a conflicted, troubled and unusually intelligent person who turns out to be quite the heroine. (Incidentally the names are sorta-kinda "one", "two" and "three" in Russian)
The third part of the novel is the weakest (where the people on the Moon figure out what's happening with the Proton Pump.) It has the worst of Asimov's attempts to write romance. And the first section can be a bit slow unless you have worked in academia, in which case, his characterization of professors and their internal wars is spot-on (you wonder, what was life like when Asimov was a professor at Boston University. Probably pretty acrimonious at some point.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating thought experiment in 3 separate but inter-related parts. Characterization does not appear to be Asimov's strong suit and chunks of dialogue in the various parts... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Govis
A good scifi book with lot of interesting ideas. However, I found it lacking with regards to the connection between the three parts of the story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by minion007
The Gods Themselves (1972) is a mishmash of a novel cobbled together from a series of short stories Isaac Asimov published a bit earlier. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Buzalka
I enjoy this book from start to finish. I do see why some might not have liked the ending, which seemed to be a bit short and to the point. Read morePublished 2 months ago by El Cyber Guapo
This is a strange effort, quite different than other Asimov. Pretty sure he's making fun of himself at least a little bit. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wesley Michael Gamble