So I’m not much (ever) a sci fi reader, but this year I promised the boyfriend that if he (physicist book worm that he is) picked one out a month I would read them, and give his genre a shot (don’t worry I’m doing the same back for him: historical fiction). So I read a Heinlein in January, and my first Asimov this February: The Caves of Steel.
This is the story of Lije (Elijah) Baley, a plain-clothes cop in a future of earth where everyone lives in mega Cities and the outer planets are colonized by past earthmen. The population size of the planet (8 billion, yes it makes me giggle in today’s world) is barely sustainable, but so far humans keep trying to find a way. And how they do that is with the assistance of robots, but at the same time the robots are taking human jobs. Most earthmen aggressively hate robots for trying to replace them. The story starts with the murder of a big-wig scientist from an Outer World and Lije is put on the case. The only catch is his partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, is a robot from the Outer Worlds as well. The murder mystery rolls out from there with secret societies, philosophical debates and some good red herrings.
And it was delightful! For my first Asimov I was pleasantly surprised. I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny. Although the funniest part overall was definitely his biography at the back. Is it weird that I want Asimov to be my best friend now (we’re both chemists, so much in common!), even though he’s been dead for 22 years? But back to the story: it was fast paced and very clever. With a healthy dose of religion and philosophy thrown in. Overall if you’re looking for a classic sci fi murder mystery I highly recommend. Hopefully the boyfriend’s next pick for March is just as good!