More Comments about Asimov's "The Robots of Dawn"

I have just (2010) reread The Robots of Dawn after previously reading it 7 years ago. This time through, I seem to be getting much more from this book and it just might be because I had previously read Asimov's Favorite Fifteen.

But something has changed, for the better, in Asimov's writing style and this book reminds me of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Why would I say this?  Well, when you first listen to the Ninth, you almost can't believe what you are hearing. Notes connect to notes in such a way that the whole thing seems unbelievably beautiful as well as mathematically well-engineered. Then when you listen to it again you realize that you did not hear all that was originally present. It was always there but you were unable to absorb it (information overload? It didn't seem so at the time but maybe the lack of discomfort is only possible with works of art :-)

The same occurs with The Robots of Dawn. The first time through I do not recall Giskard referring to Fastolfe's daughter, Vasilia, as "Little Miss". This is a clear reference to the story Bicentennial Man and even the name "Andrew Martin" is mentioned in passing. Because of this, I recommend you first read Bicentennial Man or watch the movie some short time before.

There are also other references to Susan Calvin dealing with a not-so-truthful telepathic robot in the I, Robot short story titled Liar!. Because of this, you should first read either Liar! or I, Robot (watching the I, Robot movie will not be sufficient).

And then there is the first mention of Fastolfe's belief in new science called psychohistory will be developed to help guide future human progress.

And finally there is the portion of the story where Baley, Daneel, and Giskard are walking quickly from Gladia's estate back to Fastolfe's. During this time Baley has a few troubling things on his mind and Giskard seems to be a little to quick when in asking if there was  a problem :-)

Neil Rieck