The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (unabridged audiobook read by William Dufris; 7 hrs 48 min on 6 discs): Lije Baley is a regular plainclothesman in far-future New York City sent to investigate a murder of a Spacer (that is, a person born on one of the many colonized planets). His partner is R. Daneel Olivaw, a disconcertingly human-like robot. Baley is a product of his environment, and like many of his displaced fellow humans he distrusts and dislikes robots in general. Though the social differences between Earthmen, Spacers, and the reader’s own society are the main draw of the book, the story itself is very much a 1950s-style detective story. If you like hard SF, you probably already know to read Asimov, but if you’d like your futurism with some mystery mixed in, this is a good place to start.

A note on the audio: Dufris is an excellent voice actor. Sure, his female characters are more or less in hysterics all of the time, but that’s how it was written. And how most women in 1950s hard-boiled detective novels were written as well.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. This book highlights the lost potential in the Will Smith I, Robot film, even though I generally liked the film. But it didn’t really utilize Asimov’s raw material.

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