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The Caves of Steel

(Robot #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  88,732 ratings  ·  3,288 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
Mass Market Paperback, 12th Edition, 206 pages
Published 1997 by Voyager (first published October 1953)
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Rob Its a little bit of a different bird. I, Robot is a collection of short stories with a loose narrative thread tying them together. Caves of Steel is a…moreIts a little bit of a different bird. I, Robot is a collection of short stories with a loose narrative thread tying them together. Caves of Steel is a single cohesive story, structured as a "whodunnit" detective novel. Regardless, it is still Asimov and therefore amazing.(less)
Mainul Islam Not really. This is kinda different series. You are gonna enjoy it if you like detective stories.

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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Caves of Steel (Robot #1), Isaac Asimov

The book was first published as a serial in Galaxy magazine, from October to December 1953. A Doubleday hardcover followed in 1954.

The Caves of Steel is a novel by American writer Isaac Asimov. It is essentially a detective story, and illustrates an idea Asimov advocated, that science fiction can be applied to any literary genre, rather than just a limited genre.

In this novel, Isaac Asimov introduces Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, later his favorit
...more
Baba
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Mankind, vast, endless and with billions in existence a few centuries from now - 8 billion people on Earth all living in domed mega cities ('caves of steel') with limited interactions with robots, and then there's the 'Spacers', descendants from earlier stellar migrations, forward thinkers living all over the galaxy and further afield with huge robot industry, help and support. A New York Spacer hub is the scene of a Spacer ambassador murder and New York cop Elijay Baley is partnered with the Sp ...more
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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Robot 2:

Author. is. carefu
...more
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asimov-isaac
Groundbreaking of crime stories with non-human protagonists

It´s an additional layer of suspense if one doesn´t know if humans or robots have committed a crime. With the help of this trope, the author can play with the laws and programming of robots, regarding helping or killing humans. Or helping killing humans.

It will become a real topic, as soon as the first accidents with cyborgs and human-like robots will happen. In the beginning, it might be easier to find the bug or the evil, laughing vil
...more
Beverly
Mar 17, 2022 rated it really liked it
The Caves of Steel is a description that is used in the book to describe the claustrophobic and small world, we, earthlings, have made for ourselves through overpopulation in the future. These future people don't like natural light and air and are almost like cave dwellers.

A policeman, Elijah Bailey, is given an assignment to find out who murdered an important space alien. These aliens called "spacers" have rented out some of Earth's land. The spacers also brought robots with them who threaten t
...more
Trish
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I LOVE Asimov's robot stories!

Here, we start out on Earth, overpopulated and so far in the future, it's positively alien (they hardly understand rain and only know about windows through history books or historical novels).
A New York City cop, Elijah Baley, is tasked with solving a murder mystery. But he has to discover that not only is he distrusted (Earthers and Spacers have no love for one another), but politics result in him being partnered with a Spacer called R. Daneel Olivaw, which means
...more
Manny
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Adrian
A wonderful book, I will ponder on the rating and review tomorrow.

So tomorrow accidentally turned into a few days, for various reasons, luckily it was a book I really enjoyed so my memory is still really clear.

I first read this book probably 40 + years and along with the Foundation novels from Asimov they are what make him probably my favourite author (just don't tell JRR Tolkien that). Since that first read, I have probably only read this at most two more times, so this re-read was really enjoy
...more
Merphy Napier
While detective novels aren't my thing (at the moment, I'm still trying) I love Isaac Asimov's books. His worlds, explanations, AIs, and situations he writes are genius and can keep me interested even if it's the type of story I don't usually read ...more
Jonathan O'Neill
3.5 ⭐
Come for the Retro Sci-Fi. Pull up a seat and stay a while for a fun murder mystery and some predictive philosophising on the future of humanity.


”Ladies and germs, this is so random and bizarre! I’m joined today by none other than the lead singer of The Strokes, Julian Casablancas. Jules, baby, you just finished the book recently yourself, right?”

Last Niiiiiiiiite!

Yeah, that’s what I thought. What’d you think?

Is this it?

Yeah, that’s the one, Caves of Steel.

Is this iiiiit?

Umm, ye
...more
Lyn
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
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
...more
Barbara
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it


Isaac Asimov is well known as a science fiction writer and this book is supposed to be a science fiction/detective story "fusion" book. Apparently Asimov wanted to demonstrate that science fiction could meld with other genres (according to the book cover).



The detective partners in the story are a New York detective named Elijah Baley and a very human-looking robot, called R. Daneel Olivaw. But the "detection" seems to consist of the cop just accusing one person after another - he doesn't even q
...more
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
Sr3yas
❝ 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
...more
Megan Baxter
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2021-shelf
Re-read of classic Asimov.

Back in the day, perhaps 40 years after this had originally been written, I already assumed this was a classic tale by a classic SF author. I devoured it, being surprised by the fact it felt like a hard-boiled detective novel while also having some core SF ideas -- you know, like getting our eggs out of one basket, fighting discrimination for alternate intelligences, and the basic problems of feeding and housing billions of people.

It was still enjoyable, and 70 years a
...more
Nathan Boole
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
...more
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
...more
Sarah
I really enjoyed this but Jehoshaphat it was dated!
Fran
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A detective novel that takes place in a far future Earth where humans have resourced to live underground so that the entire surface of the planet can be use for agriculture. This is an overpopulated Earth, where as a matter of courtesy you don't look at your neighbor to give each other some sort of privacy. It's also an imagined Earth, but a frightening possible one.

I really liked this book. I'm a fan of Asimov's work but this one is a little different. And it's hard work to make a detective nov
...more
Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms
3.25 Silver Stars

just a quick review

it was good story. unique. mystery, deep characters. but frequently there was an info-dump section, just explaining about the dystopian-like futuristic society, especially lots of "details" even about the exact "shapes" of the devices.
I must mention that the world was rich & well-built, though kind of gray (you know, Steely. *pun intended*)

I guess I generally love underdog characters, mainly it meant the hero who suffers the most & receiving bad luck most of t
...more
Michael
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes good sci-fi
Updated 2021 Re-Read Review:

In many ways, Issac Asimov is my sci-fi comfort food -- when it feels like the world is going crazy around me, it's nice to visit one of my first entry points to the genre and "discover" new things about my old favorites.

In anticipation of the upcoming Foundation, tv series, I've re-read a couple of entries there. But it was while re-reading Prelude to Foundation that I was reminded that it's been a decade or so since I read the Lije Bailey novels. So, I immediately j
...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Caves of Steel, the first novel in Asimov's Robot series, is a wonderful introduction to the series. Like other novels in the series, a big part of it is devoted to the conflict between Spacers (humans who live on outer planets) and Earth people. When detective Elijah is asked to explore a murder that happened in Spacetown (territory of Spacers), he gets paired with a robot partner Daneel. Elijah is shocked by his human appearance, but getting adjusted to having a robotic partner seems the l ...more
Wanda Pedersen
It was more interesting reading this novel after a biography of Asimov. He has given some of his personal characteristics to his main character, Elijah Baley. It's no accident that The Caves of Steel is set in a future New York, the city where Asimov grew up. Baley is very much a city man and he likes the windowless coziness of the enormous cities of this future earth. Asimov wasn't a traveler—he hated flying and he didn't move far afield from the cities that he felt comfortable in. He also like ...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
...more
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
Simona B
I read and reread this book whenever I can, and each time, it tells me a different story. If something like infinity is within our grasp, well, as far as I'm concerned, then it's to be found in The Caves of Steel. ...more
Thomas
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Asimov, Isaac. Caves of Steel. Daneel No. 1. 1953. Voyager, 1997.
Before I retired, commuting to work in the summer, leaving my airconditioned home, getting into an airconditioned car and driving to an airconditioned building, I could imagine myself living in the metal cocoon city of Caves of Steel. Technology that cuts us from the natural world is an ancient trope in science fiction. Asimov’s “Medievalists,” who dream unrealistically of going back to the land, are expressing a romantic impulse t
...more
Patrick
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, classics
It’s Isaac Asimov. Need I say more? I just finished several hours of reading so the review may not be well written, but I’ll do my best!

The Caves of Steel was an awesome sci-fi mystery, the first I’ve read. I’m not big on mysteries but this one was great!

The back drop of this book begins way in the future where Earthmen fear and hate robots and Spacers. (Spacers are humans who went to colonize space.) Many of the Earthmen became Medievalists who dream of exiting the Caves of Steel and reestabl
...more
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22,112 followers
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 one of the most prolific writers 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 o
...more

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

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