Tag Archives: Ecological changes

Gimpel, Ann: Earth’s Blood (Earth Reclaimed II) (2014)

Artist: Kelly Shorten Interior book design: Cera Smith Editor: Angela Kelly Line editor: Jenny Rarden
Artist: Kelly Shorten
Interior book design: Cera Smith
Editor: Angela Kelly
Line editor: Jenny Rarden

First of all I am going to talk about going off on tangents. My thing is words – Autism is part of me. That means that sometimes the sound of a word in my head or the way it feels in my mouth sets me off on a chase. One of the words in Earth’s Blood that set me off was Lemurian. The Lemurians are also called the Old Ones and are hated by both the Celtic gods, of which Fionn is one, and Aislinn. But the name Lemurian. It keeps on going round and round in my head. Part of it has to do with lemurs. Lemurs are soooo cute/adorable/sweet (maybe not) and all of those adjectives that we give animals that look like them. The other part was when I started looking for things to do with Lemurian on the net. Wow, there is actually a whole belief system centered around the concept (see links below). People are fascinating.

Sometimes when I read a novel one of the characters begins to annoy me. Once I realise what is happening I stop and ask myself why. This time it was Aislinn’s way of handling her situation that got to me. I was getting more and more frustrated with her until I finally stopped and looked at what it was I was projecting. Surprise, surprise. Thinking is problematic to my imagined self.

One of the things that bothered me was all of the sex between Aislinn and Fionn. This is coming from the woman who claims that she wishes there was as much sex (vanilla kind) in novels as there is action. In Earth’s Blood there is. But it bothered me and here is why: Conditioning. My child-hood religion is very orthodox. Sex is no exception to the rule. That in itself makes the whole concept of reading about it – even when it is as well written as Ms. Gimpel writes it – problematic. Oatmeal has a really great poster on the subject. It is funny and incredibly sad at the same time.

My other problem with descriptive sex was my childhood. I was sexually abused by some of my relatives and that scarred me and made sex less than fun for a long, long time (my poor husband). Once I realised what was going on in my head and emotions I could let go of the pain. Sex is good for me now. I got so turned on by some of the scenes that I dragged my husband upstairs and had some adult playtime.

The other thing that annoyed me was how volatile Aislinn was. Once again I had to stop myself from reacting and instead looked at what on earth was causing such a strong emotion in me. One of the things going on between Aislinn and Fionn was a whole lot of insecurity about their relationship from Aislinn’s side. No wonder, considering how it all came about and all of the challenges thrown their way (an understatement if there ever was one). I looked at my own insecurities when it comes to people and especially my husband. Being an autist is a challenge when it comes to a relationship – both for me and my non-autistic husband. My husband is the kind that shows his love through action and not through words. For me that is incredibly cryptic. My thinking muscles are severely challenged when trying to interpret what is going on in our relationship. We have been together 25 years, so I ought to have caught on by now, but you know – some people are just slow.

The other thing that caught me was what happened when Aislinn discovered she was pregnant and the following abortion. The myth about pregnant women being volatile is no myth. Sometimes our hormones take over completely and there isn’t much we can do about it. Add to that the new relationship between Aislinn and Finn and Aislinn just beginning to open her sealed chest of grief over her many losses in life thus far – and my feelings about Aislinn changed.

Is there action in Earth’s Blood. I realise that the above might have made you think otherwise, but there is plenty of action. Plenty, plenty, plenty. And like the sex it is detailed but not explicit (if that makes sense). The dark gods (another concept that sent me off on a tangent) and the old ones used to fight each other. But in their craving for control over the earth they have pooled their resources for the time being. Power is such a seductive thing and power is what both the Old Ones and the Dark Gods want. Power over the people and power to consume the earth’s resources.

By destroying anything to do with technology they have handicapped humans. And by killing off people without magic they have reduced the population and the potential number of people who could rise up against them. These are the creatures the Celtic gods and Aislinn and their bond animals have to fight. But when one of those Celtic gods is a dragon there is hope. Especially when that dragon does what she does best and goes off on a mission of rescue. I like Dewi. She is a cranky, self-important, stubborn, independent and insecure dragon who is terribly lonely as the only dragon left on earth. I believe she is my favorite character.

Anyways, Earth’s Blood affected me and helped me realise something about myself. That is probably one of the more important things an author can achieve. My imaginary hat off to Ann Gimpel.

I have to add one comment here. If you are one of those who struggles with talking to your teenagers about sexuality, I recommend letting them read this series. There is a lot of action and a whole lot of wholesome and fun sex in it. Sexuality is shown as something fragile in new relationships while also showing how turned on by each other people are at the beginning of a relationship.


I’ve reviewed an ARC copy, so Earth’s Blood is not out on the market yet. For a description:


My review of Earth’s Requiem


Lemuria/Lemurians (not connected to the Lemurians of the novel but I got off on a tangent.):

Stross, K.M.: The Man in Black – The Woman in White (2013)

The Man in Black-The Woman in White
Cover art by Chris Smith

The Man in Black – The Woman in White shows us what the earth could be like in almost 200 years if we keep on letting it go to pieces and allow money to rule the world.

Stross presents us with a world without hope, a dark story of loss, poverty, inequality and disinformation. The town of Present, Nebraska thinks the world works in one way, and it seems they have been intentionally kept in that belief. Maintaining this status quo is the will of the people who hold power to change the lives of the citizens of Present for the better.

One of the tools the powers that be uses to keep the people of Present in Present is lack of education and information. Another tool seems to be to allow companies to move in and “encourage” farmers to sell their land and water-rights.

Stross encourages me to question my own beliefs of right and wrong. Exactly who is the culprit and why do I consider that person to be a culprit?

Poor young Kyle, living in circumstances that quite a few young people live in today. Desertification, water shortage and hunger are all parts of the lives of young and old in certain places of the world. There, too, tools such as the ones used against Present, Nebraska are utilised. The Man in Black – The Woman in White speaks of a world that already exists for many and will probably exist for many more in the years to come.

Stross doesn’t give us a solution or an answer to the problem. I appreciate that. Having an open ending allows me as a reader to look around and see if an answer exists at all.


Reviews:



I could not find any information at all on K.M. Stross.

Bridger, David: A Flight of Thieves (Sky Ships I) (2013)

A Flight of Thieves
Cover artist Georgia Woods
Love this cover

A Flight of Thieves was given to me as a reviewer’s copy.

While I do try to say something positive about all novels I review, some novels need less work from my side than others. David Bridger’s new series Sky Ships is such a series. Right off the bat A Flight of Thieves caught my reader and I had to work to put A Flight of Thieves down when real life called.

A Flight of Thieves is very definitely a young adult novel with intelligent language. It has that warm sense of humour that only the British manage to convey. After so many reviews I feel certain some of you have gotten an idea of how much I enjoy writers from all over the United Kingdom. David Bridger just added himself to that list.

We get a combination of political intrigue, action, steam-punk, robot/human interaction and humour blended into 170 pages worth of enjoyment.

King Henry happens to be one of three robot kings who have ruled the Earth after humans managed to ignore the threat of climate warming long enough for it to be too late. We saw that we had been idiots and Henry and his brothers were created to rule us and hopefully keep us from flooding the Earth once again. 1000 years later he has experienced two rebellions and is looking at a third. Only by chance did he and Princess Victoria discover what was going on. The King joined the Princess on a trip to the Lord of Ireland as her footman (travelling incognito as Henry called it) and discovers that all is not well in his kingdom.

Princess Victoria is our main character. It is through her point of view that we learn of this world 1000 years into the future. She is an adventurous sort of person ready to explore her world if only her parents will let her. There is a little rebellion in Victoria and her sister Anne, but these two are pretty good kids who want to do the best for their kingdom. We get to see how Victoria deals with success and failure, love and death – for not all of her allies will make it through the story. That is the way it is when rebellion enters a land. I liked her optimism and willingness to face reality – panic attacks and all.

Definitely had fun with this one.


Rigel, L.K.: Space Junque / Hero’s Material / Samael’s Fire (Apocalypto I) (2010)

Apocalypto
Edited by Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir
Cover art by Phatpuppy (link)
Cover design by eyemaidthis

I saw the old cover for Space Junque on Rigel’s site and much preferred this one. This cover is seriously cool. Phatpuppy is on my list of favorite cover artists (she’s got her Halloween theme going right now).

Why change the title so often? Weird. Rigel explains it (I still like the above cover best):

Hero Material is a prequel, the story of how the paranormal world in the Apocalypto series replaces the old unmystical normal world. The series proper is a paranormal fantasy, and all the action is definitely on earth or within the realm of the gods.

In fact, when the paranormal elements of Hero Material nee Space Junque kick in, it’s been a shock to a lot of readers, not expecting such things in science fiction. I blame myself for too-light foreshadowing. But I blame the old cover too.

Now the name has been changed again – to Samael’s Fire.

As you see above Apocalypto is meant to be a paranormal fantasy series. Samael’s Fire is the first step on that road.

Charybdis Meadowlark is living in a post-apocalyptic version of our world where the corporations have been able to play to their heart’s content and the environment has gone down the drain. Environmental terrorists, like the DOGs, aren’t making the Earth any cleaner. When we meet Char, she is fleeing Sacramento. Her friend Mike has warned her that the DOGs are about to bomb Sacramento and that she needs to get off Earth and into space.

From the very beginning many of Char’s experiences are about fleeing one sort of trouble after the other. Trouble seems attracted to her but unlike a great majority of people Char has incredible luck in how it affects her.

Charbydis is very much our main character. The story is told from her point of view and she is the one we get to really know. The only other person we get to know fairly well is Jake. Char meets him as he sells her coffee at the coffee kiosk.

From all of the other reviews I feel certain you’ve realised that Char and Jake become an item. There is instant sexual attraction on both sides, they don’t really like each other and both are beautiful people. Like so many other novels there is a sort of love triangle.

In space there is plenty of action, a lot of explosions, some fighting and meetings with gods/goddesses and shapeshifters. These gods/goddesses are like the older type gods: norse/greek/roman = pretty selfish and fighting each other for their worshippers. It is upon meeting the gods/goddesses that the shift toward fantasy slowly happens.

Samael’s Fire is a safe and fun read both for those who do not like explicit violence and those who do not like explicit sex.


Reviews:


  • File Size: 287 KB
  • Print Length: 188 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Beastie Press (September 2, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041T59IY

Dalglish, David: Night of Wolves (The Paladins) (2011)

Coverart by Peter Cortiz

Grrr, roar. Kind of looks like those nails and teeth could do some damage. With abs like that there is probably some strength as well. This wolf-man looks like the description in Night of Wolves – dangerous and fierce.

Jerico’s charm lies in his red hair, according to himself. As a Paladin of Ashhur, he fights for light/life/order. As fate would have it he has actually befriended a traditional Ashhurian enemy – a Paladin of Karak. Karak stands for dark/death (non-life)/chaos. Darius thinks his charm lies in his personality. These guys are really supposed to try to kill each other. Instead they are working together for the good of the village they live in and both of them struggle with their consciences because of it.

On the other side of the river that is next to the village Durham a clan of wolf-men live (see picture above). Well actually they are wolf-people because there are wolf-women too. The wolf-people are desperate to get away from the Waste (the place where they live). To do so they will even gather their clans together into a unit led by a wolf-king and try to attack the human side of the river.

Both Jerico and Darius are interesting personalities. Their struggles with their beliefs of what they are supposed to be like make for interesting tension in the novel. But the really fun parts come in the action that the wolf-people engender. We all know that I like action and Night of Wolves has plenty of it. The tone in the first novel of The Paladins is lighter than the tone in The Weight of Blood. Interesting to see the difference between the two. I like authors who veer from formulas used with one character to try on something new. Good on you Mr. Dalglish.

Dolphins are victims of Australia’s most environmentally controversial project at Gladstone

Flipper is in trouble yet again. Will their rights be able to survive this time? Unlikely, when it is big corporations against environment. Once again it seems corruption is rearing its ugly head. I wonder if humans are genetically unable to plan for long-term consequences.

Craig Hill Training Services

Australia’s most environmentally controversial project, the $33 billion expansion of Gladstone port in Queensland, is under investigation after being accused of breaching strict federal government audit conditions on harbour dredging and dumping of spoils in a World Heritage area.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke confirmed a review was under way into whether the project had breached its conditions by failing to get an independent assessment of its work.

The Gladstone port expansion has been plagued by controversy since the discovery of widespread fish disease in the harbour in 2011, which has been blamed both on record floods and the impact of dredging.

Allegations of audit failure, raised by environmental group Australians for Animals, came as long-term monitoring of humpback dolphins in Gladstone Harbour showed a population reduction of 40 per cent since dredging began. Researcher Daniele Cagnazzi said he would undertake a new survey in April to establish whether…

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Aldo Leopold’s soundscape

Aldo Leopold’s soundscape

Check out University of Wisconsin – Madison’s article on how researchers have taken Leopold’s field notes and reconstructed a “soundscape” of how the chorus of birds must have sounded before all of our modern sound-intrusions.

Kirstein, Rosemary: Steerswoman

The Steerswoman's roadI have one complaint about the series – Where is the next book????? My goodness, this series was riveting. Kirstein needs to keep on writing – well, actually, in all selfishness, I need her to keep on writing. I think this was my third read-through and I was still captured by the writing and held prisoner until the end.

THE STEERSWOMAN’S ROAD (2003)

Rosemary Kirstein Steerswoman’Road is an omnibus containing The Steerswoman and The Outskirter’s Secret. In it Kirstein tells the story of the friendship between Rowan, the Steerswoman, and Bel, the Outskirter. Rowan and Bel meet right at the beginning while they are both about their own business. Bel has been travelling with other Outskirters and Rowan has been investigating strange blue jewels that are neither cut nor dug up.

Steerswoman are men and women who travel around the land asking questions and answering them. One must tell the true answer to any question and the Steerswomen must also do so. If one refuses to answer a Steerswoman, they can ban you. That means that no matter what the question you ask is, they will not answer it. Strange rule, but as knowledge is their whole purpose perhaps not.

Rowan’s questions about the jewels seem to have stirred up interest from the wrong parties. Thankfully, she and Bel have decided to travel together for a while because the next day brings an attack. From that point on there is tension, action, betrayal, discovery, friendships and travel. In fact, Rowan’s search for the truth of these blue jewels brings her into the Outskirts.

The Outskirter is about this part of her journey of discovery, and The Outskirter is just as exciting as The Steerswoman. The Outskirters are nomads who live at the border of where people can actually survive. Every day for them is about destroying and seeding the land so humans can live there. Steerswomen are unfamiliar territory to the Outskirters, yet Rowan manages to gain their trust and help them in her own way. The importance of her work becomes clearer and clearer as the role of the wizards in the attacks on Rowan begins to make a strange sort of sense. Rowan is also beginning to realize that perhaps wizards aren’t quite as wizardly as she had thought.

We as readers should have started realizing this long ago. What does not make sense to Rowan and the regular citizens of both the Outskirts and the Inland does to us. This is a science fiction series that to begin with might seem to be a fantasy one. Quite a few science fiction books are like that. The meeting between different sorts of technologic knowledge can, after all, make it seem like magic is afoot. Pressing a button on the wall to make light in the ceiling is pretty magical if you ask me – and I know how it all happens.

The Lost SteersmanTHE LOST STEERSMAN (2003) – 2004 Locus Science Fiction Award Nominee

Rowan and Bel have parted ways (on friendly terms). Bel is in the Outskirts spreading the bad news, and Rowan has ended up at the Annex in the town of Alameth looking for more information about Slado and the wizards. The Annex is a mess. Mira, the last Steerswoman living there, had not cared one whit about her duties. She was tired of being a Steerswoman and left everything a mess when she died. Now Rowan has to try to find desperately needed information in this chaos. On top of that the townspeople have problems accepting Rowan because she is so different from Mira.

When Rowan meets Janus, a Steersman who resigned the job and was considered lost, she is happy and confused. He was one of her oldest friends and Rowan finds the ban on him difficult in their conversations. After a while, Rowan begins to suspect that things are quite complicated with Janus.

The Lost Steersman is every bit as suspenseful as The Steerswoman’s Road. Kirstein keeps the standard of her writing amazingly high. It goes against the grain, but I think I’m going to put her along with Pratchett. Their styles are completely different. However, they both manage to involve me as a reader in some very serious topics with skills beyond anything I could aspire to.

The Language of Power THE LANGUAGE OF POWER (2004) – 2005 Locus Science Fiction Award Nominee

Rowan and Bel are once again together in their adventures. The Outskirts have been warned and Rowan is finally beginning to get somewhere in her search for the answers to Slade. All roads lead to Rome, it is said. In the Inlands, all roads seem to lead to Donner. To Donner Rowan and Bel go and there they unexpectedly meet Will – our lovable wanna-be apprentice – from the first book.

Will is on the run from Corvus, trying to hide in Donner and looking for revenge on the wizards. Rowan and Bel are overjoyed at meeting their old friend and seek to help him in his quest. But, as would be expected from an adventure novel, things never turn out as one would wish. Will is surprised at Rowan’s grasp of “magic”. Because he knows so much more about science than she, he tends to be a bit overbearing with her. Just because she doesn’t have the background Will has, certainly does not mean that she is without the ability to infer and deduce. After all, her whole life has been about the quest for knowledge – a true addict.

Unfortunately the next book in this series has not come out yet. Aaaargh. Please, Kirstein! We need the next installment! I love the intelligence and wit of Rosemary Kirstein. She actually expects me as a reader to think and doesn’t divert my attention with loads of sex and violence. Sex and violence can be fun, but this is sooooo much more thrilling.

Asimov, Isaac: Foundation series

The Foundation series continues on from the Elijah Bailey series. The reason I call it a continuation of the series becomes apparent as one reads the books (too much of a spoiler to tell). If you go to Wikipedia, they will tell all. Having said that, their page carries quite an excellent description of the books along with analysis and links. For another in-depth analysis of Asimov’s work go to Wimmer & Wilkins’ blog. Asimov’s home page contains more general information about his life’s work.

Isaac Asimov brought fresh air into science fiction when he arrived on the scene in the 40’s. He wasn’t afraid of taking a hard look at the possible future of mankind based on what he knew of the day’s theories on sociology and psychology. The Foundation series is considered one of the most important contributions to the field of science fiction, a well-deserved opinion.


PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION (1988) AND FORWARD THE FOUNDATION (1993)

SciFi and Fantasy Art PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION by Slawek Wojtowicz
Cover for Polish Prelude to Foundation
by Slawek Wojtowicz

The Foundation series was started in the 1940’s, but for easier reading you should start with Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. In Prelude we meet Hari Sheldon, the inventor of psychohistory. Hari’s goal was to be able to predict the general future of humanity, and during a conference he presents his fledgling theory to fellow scientists on the planet Trantor. Unfortunately the Empiror finds Hari’s theories a threat and begin to persecute him. This makes it necessary for Hari to flee, and his flight takes him around Trantor. In Forward the story of how Hari develops his theory continues. Sadly for Hari, the people he loves die off (naturally and unnaturally). Hari refuses to give up and finally develops what ends up being called the Seldon Plan, a way to save the future of humankind.


FOUNDATION (1951) / FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE (1952) / AND SECOND FOUNDATION (1953)

Cover for Polish Prelude to Foundation
by Slawek Wojtowicz

After this introduction to the future Galactic Empire, The Foundation Trilogy with the books Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, follow. These are Asimov’s first installments in the Foundation history. When you read these books, please keep in mind that the series was written well before Wikipedia or the internet came into existence. As such, they seem a bit dated. Some of the theory can be tedious, but the adventures and people we meet are quite fun. The titles are a dead give-away, so we know well ahead of time that the Foundation is bound to survive. But we know nothing about the road taken.

In Foundation and Empire the leaders of the Foundation has become corrupt. The internal strife that arises from that makes the organisation susceptible to “The Mule”. The Mule advances, conquering planet after planet, making the Empire deviate from Seldon’s plan. The Foundation does not have it in them to win over the Mule, and desperately some of the members begin seeking a rumoured Second Foundation.

The title Second Foundation kind of gives it away. In this novel we are going to discover the rumoured savior of the Empire while enjoying adventure, science and social interaction. The only way to kill the Mule is by allowing members of the Foundation to find members of the Second Foundation. But this also reveals the fact that there is a Second Foundation and that its nature is somewhat different to the First one’s. Herein lies the conflict.


Foundation’s Edge
by Michael Whelan

FOUNDATION’S EDGE (1982) AND FOUNDATION AND EARTH (1986)

And so we come to the two final books in the Foundation series: Foundation’s Edge and Foundation and Earth. We meet Golan Trevize as main protagonist in both books. He is convinced the Second Foundation has survived the attempt to exterminate its members, and goes looking for them. His search brings him to many planets and finally to the ancient planets (no longer on any star-chart) of Solaria, Aurora and Melpomenia. Each journey brings Trevize closer to a conclusion that may or may not satisfy the reader. I felt ambiguous, and that seems to be the intent of the author.


  • 1966 –  Best All-time Novel Series Hugo Award for the Foundation series
  • 1983 –  Hugo Award for Best Novel for Foundation’s Edge
  • 1983 –  Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel for Foundation’s Edge
  • 1996 –  A 1946 Retro-Hugo for Best Novel of 1945 was given at the 1996 WorldCon to “The Mule“, the 7th Foundation story, published in Astounding Science Fiction

Asimov, Isaac: Elijah Bailey/Robot series

Isaac Asimov was my introduction to science fiction. I imagine he has been for a lot of people. The libraries here in Norway didn’t have a lot of fantasy/science fiction material in my youth. But there were a few robot anthologies with Isaac. I fell in love.

It’s incredible to me that Asimov began the Foundation series in 1942. I would begin my reading with the Robot series (Elijah Bailey series). These four books give the reader an excellent starting point for understanding Foundation: The Caves of SteelThe Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn, and Robots and Empire (these are links to Wikipedia so spoiler warning is necessary).

michael whelan_isaac asimov_the caves of steel.jpg

Michael Whelan – Caves of Steel

The Caves of Steel (1954) is the very beginning of the Foundation series. Far into the future (approx. 3000 years) mankind has discovered hyper-travel and has emigrated to the stars. Fifty planets, known as the Spacer worlds, have been terraformed and enjoy a low density of humans. Robots are used for labor intensive jobs. In the meantime Earth is over-populated and have passed laws against the use of robots. Elijah Bailey lives on Earth in one of the domed cities.

A Spacer ambassador has been found murdered outside his domicile. Elijah is forced to go work with his partner, R. Daneel Olivaw, a human-looking robot. Unfortunately one of things Elijah holds against Daneel is the fact that he looks just like the murder victim. On their journey of discovery they end up visiting the Spacer worlds.

Some of the themes Asimov explores in this combination of sci-fi and mystery are over-population, technology and prejudice.

The-Robots-Series-1

The Naked Sun (1957) brings us to the world of Solaria. Solaria is a planet where the population is kept at 20000 and robots serve the human population. In fact robots outnumber the humans greatly. This time the victim is a genetic specialist in the birthing center of the planet. On a planet where contact between people is kept at a minimum, we get a real locked-room mystery. Once again Elijah and Daneel need to solve the murder mystery.

In the Elijah books robots are for the most part treated as property and expected to do as their masters say. When Elijah calls the robot “Boy” it might be seen as Asimov’s way of breaching the topic of racism/slavery/prejudice. Asimov was agoraphobic and as such Solaria would probably be the exact opposite of his heaven. Elijah certainly has to struggle quite a deal with his own agoraphobia in this novel. We also get a look at the way we tend to make assumptions without enough information. The rest of Solaria just “knows” that Gladia has to be guilty of the crime, but Elijah is not as certain of that.

Daneel, Elijah and Giskard in hovercraft by Seabird

In The Robots of Dawn (1983) we once again meet Gladia from Solaria. She has settled on the planet Aurora. A roboticide has occurred and Elijah and Daneel need to find the killer. R. Jander Panell was another humaniform robot created by Han Fastolfe. The robots of Aurora are incredibly lifelike and their interaction with their humans can be quite intimate.

To aid in their investigation, Daneel and Elijah are assisted by another of Fastolfe’s creations, R. Giskard Reventlov. They discover that Jander was a member of Gladia’s staff. In fact, she considered him her husband. Some of the possibilities for motives are jealousy, power and greed. While Asimov’s Robot books are mysteries, they are also an exploration of sociological possibilities. The impact of technology (in this case robots) is one of Asimov’s recurrent themes. How far do we take technology or let technology take us? The Robots of Dawn is also very much about human relationships. How much do we let our urges, the taboos of society and our individualism steer our lives?

The Zeroth Law by Hera of Stockholm

Robots and Empire (1985) is the final book in the Elijah Bailey/Robot series. By this time Elijah has died and we encounter one of his descendants, Daneel Giskard. In it we get a step closer to Asimov’s Foundation series – a natural continuation of the Elijah/Robot’s series.

For most of the Spacer population Earth people are seen as vermin. They have been forbidden emigration to other planets and are forced to stay on over-populated, capped earth.

However, Earth people are overcoming their agoraphobia and are using faster-than-light transportation to get to planets away from the Spacer Empire. These “Settlers” see the Earth as something to revere. One of these Settlers is Daneel Giskard.

On a trade journey Daneel discovers that Solaria seems empty of humans. The robots are left, still working with their previously assigned jobs. Gladia Delmarre is still alive on Aurora and she is asked by Daneel to help figure out what has happened on Solaria. She brings R. Daneel and R. Giskard to aid in the investigation.

Once again Asimov explores the theme of technology and its effect on humans. The ending of Robots and Empire was quite touching and a fitting end to the Robot series. When you read the Foundation series, you will see just how Robots and Empire merges these two series. These books are a treat. While they are dated in some respects, their themes are incredibly relevant today.