ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Isaac Asimov was an American sci-fi writer. He was also known for his fantasy and mystery novels, in addition to some of his non-fiction works.
Asimov has also authored short stories and books related to astronomy and chemistry. As a member of the scientific community, Asimov was often consulted for his visionary opinions on futuristic technology and intelligence. He even worked as a scientific advisor to the Star Trek motion picture. Throughout his life, Asimov advocated scientific advancement.
Such was Asimov’s influence and legacy that an asteroid was named after him in 1981.
Robots and Empire is the unification of the three worlds created by Asimov – the Robots, Empire, and Foundation series. After the final events in the Robots series lead to the demise of earth’s hero, Elijah, the planet’s future is in turmoil. Elijah’s lover, Gladia Solaria, is the only person who can save earthlings from evil extraterrestrial beings. Accompanying her in her mission are her two Robot associates, Daneel and Giskard.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT ROBOTS AND EMPIRE
Robots and Empire is the last book in the Robots series. The story begins with a recap of previous events and their impact on the future. It neatly ties up Asimov’s universe. The book is centered around the two Robots accompanying Lady Solaria, who acts as a mere plot device and sympathy magnet.
Readers can feel an instant connect with the story after discovering that earth’s future is at stake. The Robots are servants of various space-faring earthlings. However, the book isn’t all about space and intergalactic warfare. It also delves into the emotions involved in this conflict. The basics are reiterated every now and then, the most important being the three laws of Robotics. These laws have been universally accepted in modern science-fiction and instantly strike a chord with all readers. The laws also form the basis of the book’s plot, which adds to the excitement.
The two Robots have their own, AI-programmed personalities. They are autonomous and capable of making decisions. Their sense of right and wrong is what drives the story. However, it is the three laws that keep them from taking preventive actions. This conundrum is beautifully resolved at the end, with a big reveal that would blow any sci-fi fan’s mind.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT ROBOTS AND EMPIRE
Asimov is widely regarded as the God of modern science-fiction. Robots and Empire has all the elements – from sound scientific explanations that even a kid could make sense of to complex descriptions of how a Robot’s mind works – that make it a classic. The ending, however, may come across as somewhat convenient, for it hadn’t been hinted in any of the previous books. That said, it is by no means entirely impossible given how the plot progresses from the Robots’ perspective.
Changelessness is a change for the worse.
I am a creature of dreams as well as of reason.
Since emotions are few and reasons many, the behavior or a crowd can be more easily predicted than the behavior of one person can. And that, in turn, means that if laws are to be developed that enable the current of history to be predicted, then one must deal with large populations, the larger the better. That might itself be the First Law of Psychohistory, the key to the study of Humans. Yet.
All in all, Robots and Empire is a must-read for all sci-fi fans. It is the perfect finale to a legendary series, one that would continue to inspire and enthrall many a generation.
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