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The Caves of Steel (Robot #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  58,068 Ratings  ·  1,687 Reviews
A millennium into the future two advancements 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. Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New Yo ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 13th 2011 by Bantam Spectra (first published February 1954)
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mark monday
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Robot 1:

>Speculation On Future Of Human Life >Human Life In Mega-Cities >Ants In Anthill >Living In Caves Of Steel >Reduction Of Space Means Reduction Of Individual Liberties, Reduction Of Privacy, Reduction Of Ability To Do Typical Human Things Like Go Outside Or Eat Alone >Reduction Of Human Mind To Primitive Traits Including Xenophobia And Group-Think >Humans Devolve While Robots Evolve > Predictable Trajectory For Humans And Robots Alike >Stupid Humans >LMAO


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Ro
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Manny
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Isaac Asimov had opinions on everything, and he'd often find ways to insert them into his books. I was reminded of Caves a couple of months ago when I read Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride, which is in many ways an updated version of the Jezebel story from I Kings. Atwood gives Jezebel a rough ride. Here's what Asimov has to say:
The Jezebel of the Bible was a faithful wife and a good one according to her lights. She had no lovers that we know of. After Jezebel's husband, King Ahab, died, her s
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Sr3yas
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
❝ People sometimes mistake their own shortcomings for those of society and want to fix the Cities because they don’t know how to fix themselves.❞

Issac Asimov's expansion of Robot short stories gave birth to this unique novel which balances itself between hard science fiction, philosophy, religious undertones and a classic murder mystery.

In this novel, we are introduced to a highly advanced and a very dystopian New York city which has enwombed the ever growing population of humanity with a
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Lyn
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Donald, Hillary, Gary and Jill are drinking wine, playing Twister, listening to Coltrane and discussing Isaac Asimov’s 1954 novel Caves of Steel.

Hillary: One of my favorite Asimov stories is the eulogy Vonnegut said for him, as the mourners are gathered he said, “Well, he’s in heaven now.”

Donald: Hilarious Hillary, I rolled a blue left foot, so let me just slide this way. Funny that you mention Heaven as Asimov used much of this futuristic story as a way to discuss some Biblical issues.

Jill: Yel
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Stephen
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Just re-read this after having first read it many years ago. Asimov was a superb story-teller and his books are almost always fun, easy to read and full of big ideas. This one is no exception.

Set on Earth many millennia before the time when the The Foundation Trilogy takes place, it is a time when humans have been divided into two main groups, the Earthmen and the Spacers. The first are those 8 Billion souls on Earth living in massively croweded "mega cities" (the Caves of Ste
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Megan Baxter
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I'd read this before. I really thought I had. But maybe I just saw it on my Mom's headboard when I was little, with other Asimovs, and thought I'd read it. Because it rang not a bell at all.

Except that I knew within the first 30 pages who the murderer was. So either I had read it and blocked out everything but that, or Asimov didn't construct his mystery particularly well in this case. I think it's the latter. It's a matter of a few extraneous details at a moment that felt far too obvi
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Christy
I enjoyed Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel so much more than I did his Foundation. This is essentially a detective story set in a future world of megacities, space exploration, and human/robot interaction. The chief tension in this future society is that of overpopulation. There are too many people and their numbers are constantly growing; soon they will pass the point of sustainability on Earth. The book explores a couple of possible solutions to this problem. One is a return to the soil, a si ...more
Penny
Attempt #2. I wrote a very eloquent long review and then lost it :P It's happened to all of us!

Lots of food for thought in this relatively short story.

I tried to read Foundation a while ago and couldn't get into it. I found it dense and difficult to read and put it down after the first chapter, so I was a bit nervous that I'd encounter the same style in The Caves of Steel. I was very pleasantly surprised to find this very easy reading and full of insightful deep ideas to boot! Needless to say I
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Stephen
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Just re-read this after having first read it many years ago. Asimov was a superb story-teller and his books are almost always fun, easy to read and full of big ideas. This one is no exception.

Set on Earth many millennia before the time when the The Foundation Trilogy takes place, it is a time when humans have been divided into two main groups, the Earthmen and the Spacers. The first are those 8 Billion souls on Earth living in massively croweded "mega cities" (the Caves of Ste
...more
Sesana
Caves of Steel is a detective story, set around the murder of a Spacer (a visiting colonist from another world). But I think it's fair to say that Asimov is at least as much interested in building his world as he is in the mystery itself. It's a good thing, because the mystery isn't entirely satisfactory.

The world he builds, on the other hand... Now that's interesting. Earth's population has been sequestered in cities and subjected to strict rationing. Intelligent and vaguely human-like robots a
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Sarah Anne
I really enjoyed this but Jehoshaphat it was dated!
Nathan Boole
So, initially I was going to give this book one star. It is my opinion that Asimov is frightfully overrated, even compared with other authors who were his contemporaries, and therefore lived in, and wrote from, the same social climate.

Nearly all of the human characters were frustratingly stupid throughout most of the book. The one woman in the book was basically just in the story to be hysterical, gullible, and even nonsensical.

The protagonist, though he is allegedly a competent professional det
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Caves of Steel (Robot #1), Isaac Asimov
عنوان: غارهای پولادی؛ آیزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: شهریار بهترین؛ تهران، آواره، 1363، در 398 ص؛ داستانهای علمی تخیلی؛
Jim
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1audio
This was fun. I haven't read it in decades & never listened to it before. It was well suited to an audio book & the reader was good.

It was a good murder mystery, although the guilty party was telegraphed early. Just the details were missing. Still, the book wasn't primarily about that, but a look at the human condition in a crowded future. That was interesting, although harmed by out dated technology & I wish he'd steered clear of numbers. The world retreated to urban 'caves of steel
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Anastasia
È fantastico come tante qualità provenienti da generi diversi siano qua mescolate in modo così fluido, compatto, scorrevole. Per quanto sia banale da dire, mi piace quando un romanzo di genere fantascientifico abbraccia talmente tante sfaccettature della società o dell'uomo in generale da far sembrare riduttivo definirlo un "libro di genere". Qui si aggiunge poi lo squisito piacere della storia condito da così tante varianti pertinenti già solo alla trama, prima che ai vari significati che emerg ...more
Pablo
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciencia-ficci-n
Primera novela de la saga de los robots. Antes de esta saga había leído solo El Sol Desnudo, pero hace muchos años atrás, cuando no sabía nada del universo de Asimov. Leerlo ahora fue distinto, después de los 7 libros de la Fundación, cuentos, El Fin de la Eternidad y Los Propios Dioses.
El primer estilo de Asimov está reflejado en todo su esplendor en este libro. Con mucha información sobre temas que no van mucho al caso, en los cuales el autor era especialista. Como también una trama con giros
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Denisse
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book itself as much as it is part of a series. A science fiction thriller will always be weird, and impressive if it is done well, like The Caves of Steel. A jewel anywhere you look. Great characters, great start for a new social-robotic dilemma, perfect ending and enjoyable for both detective and hard sci-fi readers.


Siempre me ha gustado la pluma de Asimov. Ninguno de sus libros tiene una trama fácil o ligera y comoquiera es así como se lee cualquiera de sus novelas. Creo que he leído las suf
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Michael
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes good sci-fi
While "I, Robot" may be more recognized as the source for Asimov's famous three laws of robotics, it's his series of books about the partnership between a human detective, Lije Bailey and his android partner, R. Danell Olivaw, that are the more compelling and fascinating.

"The Caves of Steel" is the first (and best of the four) entry in the series, introducing us to Bailey, Daneel and a future world in which humanity lives inside massive, interconnected steel domes. Humans rarely venture outside
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notgettingenough
You can see why Asimov thinks he's great shakes. This is written early 1950s and he talks of a future world where humans live in huge cities with the utmost efficiency, protected from the environment, entirely dependent upon nuclear power, eating food created by science. Thus earth is still able to support a massive population and rising. Let's just say, we are getting there. The age of the car is well gone -in this world people walk on transport belts that go up to 60 miles/hour. The vehicles a ...more
Nandakishore Varma
I somehow prefer the short stories better. From an SF point of view, the novels are good - but not very good whodunits, IMO.

For some weird reason, I used to picture William Shatner as Elijah Bailey and Leonard Nimoy as R. Daneel Olivaw.
Randy
Aug 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brief synopsis of story: (1-2 paragraphs).
Earth civilization labors under the pressures of overpopulation and all citizens live under vast domes of metal and concrete—the titular caves of steel. Further, robots are making inroads on the human labor market, causing even more distress. On the flipside is Spacetown where ‘Spacers’ live. Spacers are offworld colonists used to low population, relative wealth, and long life spans. They maintain an outpost just outside of the New York City dome, but t
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Leah
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jehoshaphat! It's tremendous...!

In the far distant future, Earth has become vastly overcrowded and the strain on resources has forced humanity into living cheek by jowl in massive closed in cities – the caves of steel of the title. They no longer ever venture into the outside world, having basic robots to do any outside work that's needed. Living accommodation is small – meals are taken in huge communal kitchens and bathing and toileting facilities are all contained in the Personals, again commu
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Jerry Jose
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always pictured Asimov’s Robot series with C-3PO droids and confronting humans from future.
Jumping Jehoshaphat!! How colossally wrong was I?

The Caves of Steel, in first look, even with all its futuristic contrivances, could be tagged as the grandfather of all those buddy detective action movies from Lethal Weapon to 21 Jump Street. In second look, it felt more like Dick’s muse for Blade Runner, expect, here the detective was paired with a humanoid-android capable of dreaming about all kinds of
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Eamon Eriksen
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asimov wrote this book as a bet (as with many of his books) that sci-fi and mystery should be separate genres. The result is an engrossing sci-fi classic. Definitely worth picking up.
Pinkerton
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fantascienza
Non sono un grande amante dei libri di fantascienza, però certo avevo già sentito il nome di Asimov, non avevo mai letto niente di suo perché vedere tanti titoli con ordini di lettura da rispettare per un argomento da cui non sono particolarmente attratto mi aveva sempre fatto desistere. Durante la mia ultima capatina in libreria però la curiosità ha avuto il sopravvento, anzitutto grazie a ciò che ho trovato scritto nella quarta di copertina che sa molto di poliziesco/mystery, facendo poi scorr ...more
Michael
This "science fiction detective story" by the versatile writer Isaac Asimov is a stimulating cerebral romp through a future, city-oriented Earth society. The mystery itself is competently executed, but it really plays second fiddle to the main thread, which explores the internal and interstellar politics of a future society, the ramifications of a universe with robots, and the prejudices and emotions that are expressed by the humans in such a society.

The book's strength lies in its exploration o
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Mir
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
8/10
Simona Bartolotta
"E il robot disse: «Sto cercando di assimilare, amico Julius, alcune idee che Elijah mi ha trasmesso in questi giorni. E forse ci riuscirò, perché all'improvviso mi pare di capire che l'estirpazione di ciò che non deve essere, ossia ciò che voi uomini chiamate il male, è meno giusta e desiderabile della sua trasformazione in ciò che voi chiamate il bene.»
Esitò, poi, come sorpreso dalle sue stesse parole, disse: «Vai e non peccare più».
Baley sorrise, prese R. Daneel per il gomito e uscirono insie
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Charles Dee Mitchell
Now that we hear serious conversations about everything from online medical examinations to robotic baristas, Isaac Asimov’s 1950’s robot novels read, if not as though ripped from today’s headlines, as at least eerily predictive of our very near future. We already hear dire warnings of massive job loss and a general leveling of culture with a scarcity of human-to-human interaction that robotics will bring about.. There are characters in Caves of Steel, known as Medievalists, who dream of an idea ...more
Drew
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A reread for my book club of a book I really liked when I was 11. I still think Asimov's introduction for the mid-80s reissue, in which he attempts to set up a contrast between Frankenstein-ian morality plays that recommend anti-intellectualism and limits on scientific exploration, and his own fearless exploration into the positive possibilities of artificial intelligence, is a great short work of philosophy and literary criticism. I wish I could speak as highly of the book itself. The fact that ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Isaac Asimov's Caliban (Isaac Asimov's Caliban, #1)
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
  • Against the Fall of Night
  • The Ringworld Engineers (Ringworld #2)
  • Planet of Adventure (Planet of Adventure, #1-4)
  • Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy #3)
  • Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy, #3)
  • The Voyage of the Space Beagle
  • Tau Zero
  • Time and Again
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume II A (The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, #2A)
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
...more
More about Isaac Asimov...

Other Books in the Series

Robot (4 books)
  • The Naked Sun (Robot #2)
  • The Robots of Dawn (Robot #3)
  • Robots and Empire (Robot #4)

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“We're forever teetering on the brink of the unknowable, and trying to understand what can't be understood.” 79 likes
“Even as a youngster, though, I could not bring myself to believe that if knowledge presented danger, the solution was ignorance.” 33 likes
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