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The Gods Themselves
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Monthly Read: Themed > August 2020 .First Contact--The Gods Themselves

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message 1: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 4 stars

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
Welcome to our August read of The Gods Themselves. It is good to be jumping in to Asimov again!

Let us know what you think...


message 2: by Clyde (last edited Aug 06, 2020 06:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Clyde (wishamc) | 123 comments OMG. Gotta read this one again -- in my top 10 SF novels of all time. My paper copy disappeared into the great book-loan brotherhood years ago, so I shall have to get a new one or perhaps a digital version.

This book is special in many ways. Though it is perhaps Dr. Asimov's best SF, it was written many years after he had pretty much stopped writing SF and was writing mostly non-fiction. It is hard SF in the best sense of the term, but it also has interesting and well developed characters (some of them aliens) and a gripping plot.

Please note, the following is based on my likely faulty memory -- but anyway -- As I remember, the genesis of the book involved some big name critic who decided Asimov was an easy target and opined that he couldn't write SF anymore. The critic also said Asimov had no skill when it came to romantic or sexual matters. Asimov took offence at this and proceeded to write a best-selling, award-wining SF story in which sex is a major element.


message 3: by Adrian (last edited Aug 06, 2020 01:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adrian | 50 comments So I finished this a few days ago, I know I read it many years ago, but this had to be the first time in around 40 years.
I must admit I didn't know the genesis of this story as detailed by Clyde above, quite interesting.
That said, to me, it is a typical Asimov book, a wonderful setting, with interesting characters and the usual conversation driven storyline.
As to "First Contact" I think that is a little stretching the point, but given I nominated the book if anyone is guilty it is me (honestly it said First Contact when I googled novels).


Zina (dr_zina) | 25 comments Haha, I nominated it too and I definitely voted for it! It is one of my most favorite sci fi books!


Zina (dr_zina) | 25 comments Maggie wrote: "Welcome to our August read of The Gods Themselves. It is good to be jumping in to Asimov again!

Let us know what you think..."

I have not participated in these before. What is the expectation? Is there any structure to the discussion? Are there any questions the group would like to explore?


message 6: by mark, personal space invader (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 1275 comments Mod
No structure, just let everyone know what you think. If you are curious about specific things readers may react to, perhaps pose questions? I'd be happy to answer, after I read the book. Won't be for a short bit though.


Phil | 56 comments I just reread this and it held up better than I expected. I am not a huge fan of Asimov, but this was one of his better novels. While the characters suffer from it being a hard scifi work, the science was the driving idea and it still seems fresh. I agree with Adrian that calling this a first contact novel is a bit of a stretch, but about one third of the book does delve into alien anthropology.


message 8: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 4 stars

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
I read this a few years ago, but skimmed it through today to remind myself what I liked so much about it.

My favorite part was the alien Dua, who although being a simple citizen of the alien planet, realizes what is happening and cannot do anything about it.


message 9: by mark, personal space invader (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 1275 comments Mod
I finished the first section and... didn't love it? I didn't dislike it either, it was an interesting puzzle. but also rather dull and a bit too much hard science (or the approximation of hard science) for me.

However I assume the second and third parts will be better. so far I've seen nothing in the book that is described on the back cover (which sounds mind boggling), mainly just an extended feud between two scientists. that's a lot for 70 pages.


MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 74 comments It’s so much better written than his other work while still chock full of interesting ideas.


message 11: by mark, personal space invader (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 1275 comments Mod
Wow, just finished the second part and it was amazing. I've totally turned around on this book. And the dryness of the first part was actually necessary for me to understand how high the stakes were in the second part (at least the human stakes).

So impressed! No wonder this is a classic. I'm very excited to see what the final part will bring.


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