The Robots of Dawn

The Robots of Dawn

by Isaac Asimov

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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A millennium into the future two advances have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together.

Detective Elijah Baiey is called to the Spacer world Aurora to solve a bizarre case of roboticide. The prime suspect is a gifted roboticist who had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime. There's only one catch: Baley and his positronic partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, must prove the man innocent. For in a case of political intrigue and love between woman and robot gone tragically wrong, there's more at stake than simple justice. This time Baley's career, his life, and Earth's right to pioneer the Galaxy lie in the delicate balance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553299496
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/1994
Series: Robots Series , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 65,433
Product dimensions: 6.86(w) x 4.16(h) x 1.19(d)

About the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned more than 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decades. He died, at the age of seventy-two, in April 1992.

Date of Birth:

January 20, 1920

Date of Death:

April 6, 1992

Place of Birth:

Petrovichi, Russia

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Columbia University, B.S. in chemistry, 1939; M.A. in chemistry, 1941; Ph.D. in biochemistry, 1948

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Excerpted from "The Robots of Dawn"
by .
Copyright © 1994 Isaac Asimov.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Robots of Dawn 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 'The Robots of Dawn,' Asimov once again examines human nature through the devices of science fiction. The plot revolves around the 'murder' of one of two humaniform robots in existence, which protagonist Elijah Baley is called to the Spacer home world Aurora to investigate. Asimov's characters and plot are deep, and his understanding of human nature is truly remarkable. This book is not only a very engaging work of science fiction and mystery, but also a shrewd exposition of the motives and prejudices of human beings. And yet Asimov manages to provoke in his readers a strong sense of hope for the future of humankind
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, they should have ended the series with this book. ROBOTS AND EMPIRE was okay but not great. What I liked best about ROBOTS OF DAWN was the same aspect which made CAVES OF STEEL and THE NAKED SUN so appealing, and that was the partnership between Earthman Elijah Bailey and Auroran robot Daneel Olivaw. It is interesting to imagine a future where robots can be created that look, act and even feel in ways that humans can. Daneel Olivaw remains one of the most interesting characters conceived by Isaac Asimov. Truly and enjoyable work and very philosophical in theme.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I have every robot book Asimov has written in hardback and read each one again every few years. He is brilliant. I bought this NOOK book so I could read it in bed at night.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Since his trip off-world to the planet Solaria, plainclothesman Elijah Baley has founded a group of people who go outside the cities in their spare time. Although he still finds being outside difficult, he hopes that the younger members of the group, such as his son Bentley will one day get the chance to settle on another planet.Since he has been trying unsuccessfully to get permission to travel to the planet Aurora, Elijah Baley is pleased to be summoned there to find out who 'killed' a humaniform robot, and he is even happier to meet up with his old friend R. Daneel Olivaw again. But the case has political ramifications, and failure to clear Hans Fastolfe's name could mean that Earthmen will never get the chance to live on other worlds.
kaulsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I see why I loved the book when I first read it: it explored our culture from the outside and drew us along as it, in turn, explored an outside culture. In fact, without meaning to do so, I think Asimov gave me a beginner's lesson in both sociology and logic.But looking at this book as a purely "mystery" genre, it is fairly tedious. I'm not sure how I would have felt if I began with this series. Instead, I began with the [Foundation Trilogy] and was hooked forever after. So much so that I can face a little tedium in my decision to retread Asimov's Robot/Foundation oeuvre.
Cecrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a pleasant surprise. I half expected him to turn the series on its head like he did with the Foundation trilogy in "Foundation's Edge". Instead it was true to form, recapturing all the character and style of the original novels from thirty years earlier - a major (and welcome) accomplishment. I'm very glad I read all three Robot novels back-to-back (starting with "The Caves of Steel"). I've heard 'Robots and Empire' is a bridging novel to the Empire trilogy (although linkages to that and the Foundation novels have already begun to appear) that isn't quite the same as these, so I'll save that for when I need another Asimov fix in the future.
annbury on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The last of the Elijah Baley trilogy, in which New York City detective Lije Baley must deal with the culture of the spacers -- humans whose ancestors abandoned earth to form a galactic empire, who have become much more powerful than the crowded millions who remain on Earth. In so doing, he must cooperate with the robot detective, R. Daneel Olivaw. In this last in the series, Lije is middle aged, and must go to the planet Aurora -- center of the spacer world -- to solve a murder. He is reunited with the gorgeous Gladia, and the plot thickens to a point where Earth's fate hangs in the balance.
clong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I consider myself an Asimov fan, and I recognize that he's generally an author you come to looking for great ideas more than great characters. Having said that, this book really didn't work for me on any level. I found it contrived and long-winded. If you cut out all of the references to the design and use of "personals" (i.e., bathrooms), as well as the almost comically bad sex and clueless ruminations thereon, you would have a significantly shorter and moderately better novel. As I was reading the second half of this book I couldn't get out of my head the notion that Asimov had written an 84 point outline of the plot, and then turned the project over to a robot with the assignment to write a chapter on each. At least there were a couple of scenes that left me chuckling thinking about a Daneel/Elijah slash treatment. This is my 27th science fiction book read to date this year; maybe a little break would be in order?
ASBiskey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great detective story. When entwined with the workings of robots and Earth vs. Spacer culture, it is exceptional. I really enjoyed the process of progression. There where some adult topics and situations that where more descriptive than necessary, but the detective work of Elijah Baley of Earth overshadows the lowest points. I enjoyed this book a great deal.
ashishg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yet another robotics science-fiction mystery story.
tronella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually a fan of detective novels, but an Asimov detective novel in which many of the main characters are robots? I'm totally sold.Also: Elijah/Daneel omg so in love.
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lije Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw return in a third book. This time, they're sent to the Spacer world of Aurora, and are investigating a case of roboticide, in which a robot resembling the humaniform Daneel has been deactivated beyond the point of repair.Plots within plots untangle as Lije and Daniel weave their way through each tale spun by the suspects. Though is the real robotocidist who we think it is?A wonderful book for fans of Asimov, especially other books of Lije and Daneel. Also recommended for science fiction mystery buffs.
weakley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A more modern novel that keeps the 50's classic feel of the first two books. Great twist at the end that sets us up for the Foundation series.
dannyhanson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great ending to the Robot Series. Very typical of Asimov's style. This was the wordiest of the series and I think Asimov put in a lot of unneeded dialog.
Redthing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read The Caves of Steel before this one!Elijah Baley takes off to Aurora to solve a crime (In my opinion, his most difficult investigation). Highly reccommended for any SF reader!
nesum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My wife prefers the Robot novels while I prefer the Foundation ones. In this book, the two begin to merge. That is not to say that the future Foundation books do not read like Foundation books, or that this novel seems more like a Foundation one, but it is here that the Robot books begin to write the history of the Foundation ones. Psychohistory makes its beginnings here, as does the concept of a Galactic Empire.Standing on its own, this mystery is the best of the Lije Baley and Daneel Olivaw (I adopt the custom of Aurora by leaving the "R." off Daneel's name) books, though it honestly starts off weak. Yet the second half of the book is exciting, stimulating, and more human than most of Asimov's books (I do love his work, but his great flaw is the coldness of his characters). The solution is clever, and better than most mystery novels offer. A good and thoughtful read.
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent job by Asimov. It was a whodunit that kept me guessing almost to the page it was explained. Asimov seems to enjoy taking parts of our society and basing a whole society on it, and showing the foibles of to narrow a view.Extremes are dangerous and should not be followed by a society at large. Instead it should use them as posts to guide down the middle.
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A scandalous murder has taken place. The victim? A life-like robot. The only possible culprit? His creator. As detective Elijah Baley might exclaim, “Jehoshaphat!” The Robots of Dawn is a science fiction mystery novel written by the esteemed writer Isaac Asimov. Originally published in 1983, it was intended to help retroactively bridge the gap between Asimov’s previous Robot, Empire, and Foundation series, most of which had been written and published in the 1950’s. The book features the recurring protagonist of the Robot series, Plainclothesman Elijah Baley, as well as his assistant, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw. It was nominated for the 1984 Hugo and Locus science fiction awards The Robots of Dawn takes place AD 4924, when humanity has settled nearly 50 other planets. This extensive settlement, however, has resulted in a clear dichotomy between the extraterrestrial human “Spacers” and the remaining “Earthmen. While the Spacers, their lifespans extended with advanced technology, feel superior to the Earthmen, the Earthmen hold equal antipathy for the Spacers, who they see as condescending and arrogant. Furthermore, while Spacer worlds have developed into utopias based on robotic labor, the Earth has become extremely overpopulated to the point that all humans live within massive, enclosed, and crowded Cities. Most Earthmen see robots as mere impersonal extensions over Spacer power and threats to their jobs. This results in a potent combination of robophobia and agoraphobia (fear of open places) which has completely prevented most Earthmen from exiting the Cities, and also forestalled the advancement of Earth culture and technology. However, a select few Earthmen, such as Elijah Baley, have begun to hold an interest in furthering Earth (or at least, human) civilization through expansion to unsettled systems. By this point in the Robot series, Baley is an established character: he is brave, sympathetic, and strongly devoted to duty, law, and propriety. He is a superb detective, thoroughly exploring all feasible (and often, infeasible) possibilities. However, he often jumps to conclusions and has difficulty relating to other cultures. Like most of his Earthly brethren, he is extremely agoraphobic. However, he is much more receptive than most to robots, having previously worked with the humaniform (advanced and human-like) R. Daneel Olivaw (the R standing for robot. This trusting relationship becomes extremely important, as Baley finds himself in a dangerous and unfamiliar situation: the Spacer planet Aurora. This planet has significantly more robots and fewer people than Earth. One of the planet’s roboticists, Dr. Hans Fastolfe, stands accused of “murdering” one of his creations: R. Jander Panell, one of only two humaniform robots in existence (the other being Daneel). Fastolfe’s political opponents argue that he has destroyed the robot in order to prevent further production of humaniforms, thereby preventing the automated colonization of new worlds as they had hoped. The task of proving Fastolfe’s innocence seems impossible, as Fastolfe has admitted that only he has the knowledge to disable Jander’s mind. After conducting a series of interviews, Baley determines that the only other person who would have the motive and knowledge to have disabled Jander’s mind is Chief Roboticist Amadiro, one of Fastolfe’s political opponents. Baley realizes that Jander’s destruction must have been related to Amadiro’s goal of accessing a humaniform mind, in order to study their workings (a secret held by Fastolfe). Baley confronts Amadiro with this accusation in front of the arbitrating Auroran Chairman, and is successful in proving Amadiro’s motive, leading him to confess his having had inquisitive conversations with Jander which may have led to his mental breakdown. Baley then forces Amadiro to agree to allow Aurorans and Earthmen to settle the Galaxy together, rather than an army of humaniform robots creating a thousand worlds identical to Aurora. Before leaving Aurora, Baley conducts one final interview with Giskard, another household robot, in order to prove his final suspicions. Incredibly, Giskard is revealed to have been inadvertently reprogrammed to comprehend brain activity as thoughts, enabling him to cause Jander’s death, an action he took to prevent Amadiro’s success in robotics and colonization. The novel closes with Giskard placing a mental block on Baley which will prevent him from revealing Giskard’s secrets, and then assuring Baley that Earth’s future is now secure. Having read the previous Robot books, as well as several other Asimov works, I found this book- especially the denouement- a delightful transition from the not-so-distant to the distant future. While neatly resolving the issues raised in the previous Robot books, it also sets the stage for the future of Earth- to be written of in the next book, Robots and Empire. Although the plot progressed in a very similar manner to the investigations of the previous books it was, as before, fascinating to see Baley’s reactions to new and unique situations. In addition, I enjoyed seeing how Asimov’s callbacks to his previous stories Liar! and The Positronic Man unfolded in importance to the story. These references helped demonstrate the significance of the book as a whole: bridging the gap between the past and future for Asimov’s fictional universe. While this was certainly the major focus of The Robots of Dawn, Asimov also manages to entertain with his tried-but-true writing formula, resulting in an excellent read for any who enjoy science fiction
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LRE More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite of the Robot Series. Great plot, good ending lots of techno things...would love to see this made into a movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago