Book Discussion: The Caves of Steel - Spoiler Free Thread
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Please, no spoilers in this thread. Stick to general impressions, etc.
Personally, last time I read it, I think Caves works as a standalone or as an enterance to the rest of the Baylee books, but some familiarity with the Three Laws of Robotics might be necessary beforehand.
Anyway, what are the Three Laws of Robotics?
1: A robot may not harm a human or through inaction allow a human to come to harm
2: A robot must obey all instructions given to it by a human unless this would interfere with the 1st law
hmm not sure of the third law I think its something along the lines of looking after propert including itself unless it interfere's with the 1st or 2nd law.
These laws are enoded in the positronic brains of the robots, as diferent volt potentials, close conflict between the laws tends to leave a robot paralysed.
See if you can spot any breaking of them in the stories? There are some very fine shadings of meanings sometimes!
BTW, a reminder for those who do such things, tags 'Green Dragon' and 'GD Group Read' can be added to Caves of Steel
Looking forward to seeing how the story pans out.
#5 the 3rd law is:
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
I read Caves of Steel for the first time several years ago and loved it. I enjoyed it just as much this time. It's a book that's easy to read with just enough suspense to keep you wondering. Oh, and there are robots! :)
I liked it. I thought Asimov did a good job creating a dystopia.
#5 reading_fox & #13 Seanie - For some reason, when I saw the "Three Laws of Robotics" I was thinking in terms of laws for writing about robots. Asimov comments about coming up with the three laws in an introduction in my copy, but he didn't say what they were and I didn't connect it with laws robots should be designed to follow.
Which makes me wonder, is it possible to design program a robot to follow these laws? Of course we can program a robot so that it won't "blast" a person, or do some other kinds of direct harm. But, harm can come in many accidental ways, programing bugs if you like.
Caves of Steel is smack in the middle of the grand old space-opera "humans taking over the stars" genre that 40s/50s SF thrived in. :)
Clarke's SF ages well. Rama is just as mysterious now as it was when it was first published.
I don't work in robotics but from what I understand of the subject current advances are using google image searches to compare camra inputs, and even then it is slow and prone to error.
Anyway, while I've read Rama more than once when I was younger I really did not like it that much. But then I did not like '2001: A Space Odyssey' either. Dry, outright boring. If my SF experiences had started with those I probably would not be into SF at all.
Give me 'Alien' any day, instead ;-)
*busy with head in book* (bummer, have to cook some supper!)
His writing is so 'clean.' Or maybe 'spare' is a better word choice.
Sparse means too bare to me. I think Asimov gets his ideas out cleanly, without gaps, but with little beauty, or flourish, so utilitarian may be the word I use.
To me 'spare' means 'lean'... no fat or filler. ;o) It's a good thing.
#36: It's a little slow at first - keep with it - I had the same problem with "Fellowship of the Ring".
Oh, and the idea being human-robot relationships .