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The Gods Themselves

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  42,171 Ratings  ·  1,262 Reviews
In the twenty-second century Earth obtains limitless, free energy from a source science little understands: an exchange between Earth and a parallel universe, using a process devised by the aliens. But even free energy has a price. The transference process itself will eventually lead to the destruction of the Earth's Sun--and of Earth itself.
Only a few know the terrifying
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 10th 2000 by Millenium (first published 1972)
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Richard
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans; Newcomers and Old-timers
Isaac Asimov rarely wrote about either aliens or sex. In response to critics who complained about these omissions, he wrote a book about alien sex. Rather, a book whose middle third is mostly about alien sex. (Mostly.) The other two thirds of the book tell one of the "purest" and "hardest" science fiction stories I've ever read.

By pure, I mean that there's a single, science-related "what-if," and that the story hinges upon that. (In contrast to, for example, a space opera such as Star Trek, in w
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Dirk Grobbelaar
What’s a man supposed to do? Here is a novel that is greatly revered by critics and fans alike. It received both the Nebula and Hugo awards for best novel (1972 and 1973 respectively). Asimov himself identified this as his favourite. And yet…

I normally really enjoy Asimov’s works. Foundation, especially, is one of my favourite SF novels. I am going to go against what appears to be the norm by not giving this novel four or five stars. It’s a novel I respected rather than enjoyed.

I can certainly r
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seak
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review, audio, 2015
Though a science fiction novel, The Gods Themselves is also primarily about magic.

Throughout the courses I took for my my undergraduate degree in Economics, we talked a lot about the driving forces behind the choices people make. One of the greatest is magic. We all want to find that magical thing that makes us not have to work as hard; magic makes life easier.

This quest for magic has helped us innovate on a grand scale and use the resources around us for our own benefit. Whether it's been good
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Manny
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of the Holy Grails of science-fiction writing is the Convincing Alien Sex Scene. Has it ever been done? You get these claimed sightings, but then the sceptics move in. Okay, it's sexy and alien, but is it really convincing? Or, it's alien and convincing, but does it come across as sexy?

Anyway, this book is one of the stronger contenders, as Asimov treats us to a graphic, no-holds-barred description of how a three-gendered species get it on. I found it convincing, and many people agree that i
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Nandakishore Varma
Isaac Asimov is a writer of ideas: and this is one of his best.

The concept is mind-boggling. Energy transfer between parallel universes, a universe which contains a three-gendered species, a convincing thermodynamic problem solved in a convincing way: it's all there for the aficionado of Hard SF. Also, the shortsightedness of governments regarding possible disasters, when there are goodies available for the taking by ignoring the dangers seem strangely prophetic in the face of the Climate Change
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Robert
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I just reread this book for the umptieth time over many years, and was struck once again by what a fine piece of work it is. This is one of the best pieces of pure science fiction every written. It isn't the best STORY, of course -- Asimov himself has better ones, as do many other science fiction authors from the post WWII era. But only a handful of other stories such as Forward's Dragon's Egg come to mind as being such excellent science fiction.

I am a physicist, mind you. The amazing thing abou
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Gods Themselves, Isaac Asimov
عنوانها: خدایان هم؛ ایزدان هم؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه آگوست سال 2002 میلادی
عنوان: خدایان هم؛ ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: هوشنگ غیاثی نژاد؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، 1373؛ در 383 ص؛ شاهکارهای ادبیات علمی تخیلی؛
عنوان: ایزدان هم؛ ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: حسین شهرابی؛ تهران، تندیس، 1393؛ در 344 ص؛ شاهکارهای ادبیات علمی تخیلی؛ 9786001821141؛
ماجرای بیگانه های جهانی موازی، که قوانین فیزیکی آنها با دنیای ما متفاوت است، آنها قصد دارند با رد و بدل کردن ما
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Michael
This reread for me was still fun, well-paced, imaginative, and thought provoking. The tale concerns an opening with a parallel universe discovered by a physicist whose tungsten is converted into an impossible isotope of plutonium. When it decays usable energy is produced. At the point of the story when a science historian is interviewing this scientist, the massive construction of “Electron Pumps” is producing free energy on a scale sufficient hold the prospect of a coming shift to utopia for hu ...more
David Sarkies
May 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like sci-fi
Recommended to David by: My Dad
Shelves: sci-fi
Asimov foresees the climate change debate
29 May 2012

The title of this book is a part of a longer title, which is used to split up the three sections of the book: Against Stupidity the Gods Themselves Contend in Vain'. I believe that that is actually an Ancient Greek saying, which is not surprising at all. Nope, as it turns out I am incorrect (thankyou Internet), it was in fact a saying of a German Poet named Friedrich von Schiller, but it is not the saying or the meaning of the saying that I re
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Azumi
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La historia empieza con el descubrimiento accidental de intercambio de energías con dos universos regidos por leyes totalmente diferentes, uno es el nuestro el terrícola y el otro es un universo alienígena. Plantea cuestiones muy interesantes para reflexionar.

La segunda parte del relato, que está ambientada en el lado alienígena, es sencillamente genial y sorprendente. Asimov se saca de la manga un parauniverso único con los seres duros y los seres blandos con sus tríades y su forma de reproduci
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Jan-Maat
Sometimes particularly when reading about Octopuses editing their DNA, giant fungi in the USA, or super Ant colonies I wonder why anyone ever bothered to write any science fiction - the variety and strangeness of actual life on earth seems to trump with ease the modest products of human imagination, perhaps that is precisely the point, the story is a way of controlling the world, of reducing its complexity to the manageable oddness of a novel.

In this case if it looks too good to be true - it pro
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Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
*sigh* Some books should remain fond memories.

I'm dropping a star on the re-read. Enjoying the insistence of intuitionalism doesn't make up for the abysmally uninteresting aliens or the 1970's culturally-locked ideas surrounding smart human women and smart alien women. It was actually pretty groan-worthy.

As for the actual story idea, I enjoyed the extrapolation of a modified natural law and the SF conversation Asimov was having with Silverberg, but it turns out that a tiny handful of ideas isn'
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Maede
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 1395
به کسانی که با حد و مرز محدود نشدنی تخیل و مباحث فیزیکی مشکل دارند توصیه نمی شود
موجوداتی تصور کنید که جسم متراکم ندارند و شناورند. سه جنسیت متفاوت دارند و به جای جفت گیری "سه گانه گیری " می کنند و ستاره خورشید مانندی منبع تغذیه آن هاست
آینده ای از زمین را تصور کنید که بشر به منابع بی نهایت، پاک و عملا بدون هزینه انرژی دست پیدا کرده است. اما به چه قیمت؟
ماه را تصور کنید که به یک قمر مسکونی با فرهنگ ویژه ماه نشین ها تبدیل شده است
توصیفات دقیقی از این سه شرایط تخیلی در سه فصل کتاب داده می شود که افراد
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Jason Pettus
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Another "one off" from a major sci-fi master. Totally unrelated to any of his other stories, this one is a mind-bender. A trans-universal thriller in which everything depends upon a near-impossible cooperation between physicists here on earth, and beings in another existence so alien and bizarre it disrupts your basic understanding of what it might mean to be alive and conscious.

Bonus: alien "marriage" and reproduction so inventive it's not even sexy. But it is kind of sweet, and romantic in its
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Abram Dorrough
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Asimov certainly plots his tales well. Most of his books I've read, this included, consist of a couple interrelated novellas as opposed to a single story - yet Asimov weaves the overall story together masterfully.

The first section is a wonderful portrayal of how academia really works, the second section will have your chin on the floor the entire time, and the third section ties in all the details with (virtually) a whole new cast.

The second section is so imaginative it would be simply unfilmabl
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Lady-R
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5

Al principio algo desconcertante. Conforme avanzas páginas 100% atrapante.
Una ciencia ficción distinta, sorprendente, original, verosímil en las leyes físicas de su mundo.
Racional, emotiva, sexual y con lugar para reflexiones profundas sobre la evolución, la existencia, las relaciones y el egoísmo de la supervivencia.
Corta pero suficiente y con un buen final que deja todo atado. Leída del tirón. Me ha encantado.
Ivana Books Are Magic
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading the first few sentence of this novel not being terribly impressed, not that I would ever considered giving up reading of one of HIS novel, but the descriptions of character seemed childish and I may have even though (blasphemy) there is something lacking there, but then I pulled myself together and told myself 'What do you know? This is Asimov. Have you ever read anything by Asimov that didn’t amaze you? Off course not. So shut up.' Anyhow, it didn’t take me long to become eng ...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Along with "The End of Eternity" Asimov's best non "Robot" or "Foundation" novel.

Winner: Hugo Award Best Science Fiction Novel (1973)
Winner: Nebula Award Best Science Fiction Novel (1973)
Winner: Locus Award Best Science Fiction Novel (1973)
Voted to 1998 Locus List of "All Time Best" Science Fiction Novels (Pre 1990)
Jim
A good foreword by Asimov. It's can be fun to find out the inspiration for a story & since this one involved Silverberg, another giant in the SF genre, that was even better.

The basic premise is good, too. Actually, it might be great, especially the way he leverages it to show the realities & politics behind science & society. It's easy to see where a catch 22 can & would develop. Unfortunately, the narrative & characters are so flat that I kept zoning out. I didn't like any o
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Belcebon
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Cinco estrellas? Pues sí. Porque es un grande y porque siempre que leo algo suyo acaba por sorprenderme. Un libro compuesto de tres relatos que hablan sobre los descubrimientos científicos y donde realiza una crítica al ego de sus responsables.

La descripción del universo paralelo es para enmarcar.
Michael
One thing I always have to remind myself when it comes to reading Asimov is that even though I've seen some of his ideas and concepts before in other author's works, that Asimov was in many ways a pioneer in the field at the time he wrote. The Gods Themselves is no exception to that rule. Yes, there are elements in this novel that others have done but none of them really as well as Asimov. There are others here who have explained the premise of this novel far better than I could and without givi ...more
Emilio
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ci-fi, asimov
Un libro muy curioso sobre sexo alienígena.
Sin spoilers.
Corre el siglo adivina cuál y la humanidad ha encontrado la fuente de energía definitiva ayudados por unos alienígenas que viven al otro lado de un nexo de comunicación. Estos alienígenas les van dando pistas para que construyan una máquina...
La historia va saltando de los humanos a los alienígenas y nos encontramos con mogollón de sexo alienígena. Asimov nos describe a los alienígenas más sensuales que podremos encontrar en la literatura d
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Spiro
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Who knew that a novel written in 1972 could touch on global warming, woman empowerment, lax views on different sexual orientations, and foreign policy...all with very pristine and at times technically beautiful scientific writing.

Some of my favorite quotes from this year come from this book:

"Now then, young man, don't ask me to stop the Pumping. The economy and comfort of the entire planet depend on it. Tell me, instead, how to keep the Pumping from exploding the Sun."


"There are no happy endings
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Krbo
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ovo je knjiga koja se ne može lako pročitati više puta jer sadrži jak "twist" na kraju koji ćete upamtiti po njegovoj snazi no obvezno je morate pročitati barem jednom (ja sam uspio dva puta jer je dosta vremena prošlo)


Ako jedan od najvećih majstora SF-a ovo sam smatra svojim najdražim djelom onda vas to mora privući.
Ne samo da ga sam smatra, nego ga mnogi kritičari i čitatelji smatraju jednim od najboljih djela žanra uopće.


Obvezno štivo!




Tallise
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of Asimov's must reads.
The story could be cut into 3 distinct parts, the FIRST part had very interesting mystery and conflict and drew his characters quite well. I enjoyed it.
The SECOND part made the book difficult to put down, a very unique/difficult type of character was portrayed here and Mr. Asimov did a wonderful job giving life to them. I strongly felt this was my favorite part and sympathized greatly. I also found my self betting the pages what would be the conflict resolution, and th
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M.
Bu kitapta "Ay"'da geçen bölümün kitaptan ayrı bir öykü olarak kitaplaştırılması daha güzel olurdu sanki.
"Bir ile sonsuz arasındaki her şey anlamsızdır." (s.304)
Rafael Aura
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sorprendente, Original, Indispensable... hay tantos calificativos para esta novela.
El único motivo por el que le pongo 4 estrellas y no 5 es porque tengo la sensación de que más que una novela es un relato breve, demasiado breve para compararlo con los grandes.
Aun así cabe destacar dos cosas, la primera es que se publicó en 1972 y 45 años después de su publicación sigue siendo una novela innovadora y muy distraída (se lee de una sentada, porque es buena y también porque es muy breve, porqué no a
...more
Kane
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: meh
I read Issac Asimov's The Gods Themselves a few years ago while lying in the sun on a beach so I'm not sure if any positive feelings I have are linked to the quality of the novel or my tan.

The novel is divided into three parts. The overall story revolves around aliens from a parallel universe (the para-Universe) who exploit a difference between the physical laws in their para-Universe and our Universe: in our Universe plutonium 186 decays into tungsten 186 and in the para-Universe tungsten 186
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Unai
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reseña completa en http://guardiaoscura.com/2013/11/07/l...

Una novela fascinante en toda la extensión de la palabra. Cada una de sus partes te deja con el culo para Tudela por diferentes motivos. La primera por la magnitud del descubrimiento y la ruindad humana. La segunda por lo difícilmente imaginable de los seres que encontramos tan diferentes a lo que podríamos pensar normalmente cuando pensamos en seres alienigenas, pero es que no son ni eso, es que son de otro universo con leyes físicas di
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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 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
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More about Isaac Asimov...

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“There are no happy endings in history, only crisis points that pass.” 63 likes
“It is a mistake," he said, " to suppose that the public wants the environment protected or their lives saved and that they will be grateful to any idealist who will fight for such ends. What the public wants is their own individual comfort. We know that well enough from our experience in the environmental crisis of the twentieth century. Once it was well known that cigarettes increased the incidence of lung cancer, the obvious remedy was to stop smoking, but the desired remedy was a cigarette that did not cause cancer. When it became clear that the internal-combustion engine was polluting the atmosphere dangerously, the obvious remedy was to abandon such engines, and the desired remedy was to develop non-polluting engines.” 30 likes
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