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Isaac Asimov's Caliban

(Isaac Asimov's Caliban #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,994 ratings  ·  64 reviews
In a universe protected by the Three Laws of Robotics, humans are safe.The First Law states,

A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

When an experiment with a new type of robot brain goes awry, the unthinkable happens. Caliban is created... A robot without guilt or conscience. A robot with no knowledge of or compassion
Paperback, 312 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Ace (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,994 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Jul 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: hardcore sci-fi fans more into plot than characters
Okay, okay, I know Asimov's considered this huge name in science fiction and this book really did stay true to Asimov's original concept. Now let me clarify why I only gave this book three stars. The plot is very good, easily four stars. The futuristic world where robots are so commonplace that they are taken for granted is realistically based in science - the very essence of great science fiction. However, I didn't find the characters to be very well-rounded or sympathetic. Maybe it's me, but I ...more
Jimm Wetherbee
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
In his later years Issac Asimov worked to merge his two great science fiction series, the Foundation and the Robot series. The problem he faced was that the events of the Foundation Series had to come after the Robot series, but robots were utterly unknown to the Foundation or the empire it replaced. That Asimov pulled this off was no mean feat, but not an incredible one for someone who figured out how Plutonium-186 could exist. In the process Asimov created an entirely new world with hundreds o ...more
David Click
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Ok but you can tell it's not Isaac.
Simon Mcleish
Jan 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in May 2002.

In recent years, this kind of "collaboration", billed on the cover of Caliban as "unique", has become quite common. Basically, someone who is a relative newcomer as a writer (and almost anyone would have fallen into this category when compared to Asimov in the early nineties; Allen was a reasonably well established author) takes a classic piece of science fiction and writes a new novel or series based on it and under the supervision of the origina
Parallel Worlds
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Intended Audience: Adult
Sexual content: Mild
Ace/Genderqueer characters: Yes (robots)
Rating: PG
Writing style: 3/5
Likable characters: 3/5
Plot/Concepts: 4/5

Caliban (Robot CBN-001) came into consciousness standing above the motionless body of his creator, with no knowledge of why. Things are already tense on the planet Inferno, where Spacer and Settler have formed an uneasy truce in order to save the planet from environmental disaster. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is a robot who might be
David Whovian
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sheriff, get some sleep!" - that's what my mind was saying practically the whole book.
Mostly I liked this tale, even though there was a ton of exposition. The only truly developed characters were the Sheriff and Caliban himself. Maybe in sequels others will be fleshed out?
Although I enjoyed this, I'm in no hurry to read the next installment.
I'm sorry my review is just scattered thoughts. Thank you for reading it!
Drew VanKrevelen
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4+ stars. Allen’s continuation and progression of Asimov’s fascinating robot series was a delight to read. I’m quite sure the grandmaster is happy to see his creations continue to grow. Thankfully, I already have Inferno, the next in the series, waiting in the wings!
Jon Norimann
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science_fiction
A sad spinoff from Asimovs great works. Only read this if you are a great fan of Asimov and want some perspective.
Richard Jr.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a really good sci-fiction book for a long time and this one is definitely top of the line! Having grown up on the early I-Robot and other novels of the 50's and followed Asimov's work as a fan for years, I was glad to read a book that could still bring back the intrigue and interest of complex humanoid robotics of that earlier era. The real question within the book is still very appropriate for our own times: What will happen when one day we create a robot with a brain complex eno ...more
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
This is really a three and half star book. It was my second time reading the book. The author made some good points in bringing out how the robotic society was a slave society and how dangerous that was for human. There was also a waste of the usefulness of the robots as they would be used for meaningless work and not for their full potential. An intresting book with some good quotes. I underlined quite a bit. Someetimes it dragged a bit but, overall a good job.
Mar 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Pretty good for those of us who always enjoy the Asimov robot books. Fairly predictable plot if you have read other books by Asimov.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
What are robots good for? And by the way, what are humans good for? That's a question I won't try to answer tonight.
Terry Mulcahy
I did enjoy the book, for the most part. I liked Caliban, but his lack of flesh seems to have carried over into the other characters' not being fleshed out too well. Be that as it may, there were also several places where all narrative and action stopped cold, and I knew it wasn't written by Asimov. He could be quite scientific in his explanations, but not like the incredibly-long monologue about the Three Laws, and the problems with them, and the "New Laws", and the "Fourth Law". That was a dra ...more
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
It is difficult because Asimov became more left progressive and collectivist in his writings as the years went by. His Robots for the most part were better "people" than the people in the stories. Same for decisions being made they were very much Social Justice warrior oriented and usually done by an elite. That said there were many people in the stories who were good and etc.
This story starts with the premise that Robots, highly evolved robots are sentient beings and so should be considered as
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wish goodreads had half stars. This book is more like a 3.5 to me.

It’s basically a mystery novel set against the backdrop of sci-fi. Which I didn’t love love. I mean I like mystery novels too, but with a title like “Isaac Asimov’s Caliban” I was expecting much more sci fi and thus found myself to be disappointed.

However! It DID have some great and in depth sci-fi scenes- like a VERY comprehensive discussion and dissection of the Three Laws of Robotics, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I’m n
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well DUH it’s not Isaac, but it doesn’t have to be. RMA did a great job all on his own. Well, a top-notch blend of Shakespeare, Shelley, and Asimov. I had nothing but sympathy for Caliban and Kresh. The sheriff is more self aware than he knows, and his partnership with Donald is touching. Even Tonya and Gubber got me in the feels because I wonder all the time what my wife (well, in 2 months she will be) sees in me, but I still stand in awe of her love. I still pronounce his name Goober, though, ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I found this to be very much in the Asimov style which I liked more when I was younger, but still appreciate. I enjoyed the undercurrent of the effect upon humans to have robots doing their bidding and looking out for the human's welfare. The story gives some perspective on the topic of AI that is different from what we normally see concerning the potential problems. I didn't think I'd want to follow up with the rest of the series on Caliban, but as I neared the end I found myself curious to see ...more
Gary Ling
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book showing a really good insight into where we are heading with robots doing our every day tasks. It does rely on Isaac Asimov's robot three laws - but if you put that to one side and just read it as independent of that - without trying to compare it to Isaac Asimov's writing, then you will really enjoy it. Its a complex story but I found it easy to follow and very interesting in the way it looked at the robot / human interaction.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this book well over 20 years ago. I'm sure somewhere in my over crowded library I own a copy of the book.
David Richardson
This is one of those books that makes you think a lot. Tedious to read in places but overall pretty good.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Hard to get in, stilted plot... Not up to the level of Asimov.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting premise, exploring Asimov's hallowed 3 Laws, but slightly over-extended and not quite clever enough to hide the rather obvious solution to the central 'crime'
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Two grudging stars it is. The premise of this story was good, but the prose was terrible and clunky and boring and so many things were "told" rather than "shown". I don't think I'll be coming back to this in a hurry. I much prefer my actual, original Asimovs. Gah.
Martyn Lovell
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Caliban is the first in a trilogy of stories set in Asimov's Robot universe. The book is a mystery thriller, and also an exploration of the social and political consequences of robots, robotics and the three laws.

This is an accessible and easy to read novel, even if you have no background in the Asimov universe. But it will be especially enjoyable for those who've read the early Asimov robot short stories and understand the format of the intellectual puzzles that underlie the use of the three l
Royce Sears
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Despite the fact that Caliban was not written by Issac Asimov, it holds true to his style and tradition. We see Asimov's tried and true method of storytelling in the elements of futuristic crime solving-- a la Elijah Bailey-- and the application of the three laws. Where Allen shines in the storytelling of Caliban is the development of the New Laws and the ultimate robot, Caliban, who exists with no laws other than the laws he creates for himself. A great read for fans of Asimov!

Royce Sears
Jeremiah Johnson
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a much better book than most of the other garbage published in Asimov's name.
The story started off like a good mystery with a robot apparently having hurt a human. After the initial rush though, the story takes on a different personality and not much happens in the way of plot development until about 2/3 in. At that point, things get interesting again and it leads to an unexpected but not altogether fascinating ending.
One major downfall to this book for me was once again character names
Sep 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Well... it's okay. Love his Robot characters as I do Asimov's. You can tell he's really dedicated to Asimov's world and style. Maybe I'm biased but I thought his writing was just not as good as Asimov's, though similar. I might be imagining this though... and I mean stylistically. I feel like a lot of descriptions were really repetitive and dragged on and on. There are also the dramatic one line paragraphs at the end of sections which always annoy me, and starting every section with "FIRST NAME ...more
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was really fun to read and I liked it the main character is funny thrilling and I don't know what I'm talking about
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
I finally got around to reading this series, and, well, I can understand why several times I started to read, put the book away, and never came back. The three novels tell the story of how the planet Inferno is saved from its original, faulty terra-forming. Along the way new robots, with a modified set of 'Asimov' laws are created.

The story is competently written, but that is all. No spark of creativity, the characters are listless, going through the motions. The robots perhaps show more charac
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: entertainment
Allen has written a thoroughly enjoyable story, taking Asimov’s three laws to the next level and skillfully balancing action, politics and the characters self discovery. And yet… and yet I soon felt like I was reading yet another Asimov robot novel. Yet again a sleuth accompanied with a faithful robot sidekick trying to solve yet another crime with a robot as the main suspect. Yet again a crime the robot couldn’t have done because of Asimov’s three laws. Yet again spending far too much time insi ...more
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Roger MacBride Allen is a US science fiction author of the Corellian Trilogy, consisting of Ambush at Corellia, Assault at Selonia, and Showdown at Centerpoint. He was born on September 26, 1957 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He grew up in Washington D.C. and graduated from Boston University in 1979. The author of a dozen science-fiction novels, he lived in Washington D.C., for many years. In July 19 ...more

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Isaac Asimov's Caliban (3 books)
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