Having finished the foundation series a year back, which I enjoyed thoroughly, reading the robot series was a natural and almost inevitable consequence for me. After all, the series are connected – in fact more connected than the empire series which I plan to read next.
And having finished the four books (Caves of Steel, Naked Sun, Robots of the Dawn, Robots and Empire) at top speed, I can say that enjoyed them thoroughly as well. It was already a familiar world for me by the time I had finished the first book and I was already looking forward to Elijah Bailey and Daneel in the subsequent books
What I have loved about Asimov is his style of writing. Simple language but which has within it a whole world of deep thinking. The worlds he creates simply comes to life without an effort. And these are not the worlds of the Hobbits, which can only be fantasy, even to the most credulous and willing-to-believe of readers. I am reading his autobiography – “I.Asimov” and I can understand how this style of writing is only second nature to him.
The books provide a neat connect to the Foundation series and its fascinating to think that something of this science fiction may come true in a century or so. After all, Asimov created his worlds from the world he saw around him.
Of course, Asimov is entertaining science fiction with its nice mixture of science, wit and a great story line. However, to the reader who has read Philip K Dick or Heinlein, Asimov’s series (but not his short stories) may lack some deep insight (though explanations are given) into the socio-political nature of the future worlds or even of the psychological nature of the people living in those worlds. Ambiguity a la “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” is missing. Those allegations might be true except for the fact that Asimov never meant his stories to be very deep, only stimulating – both to the intellect and to the imagination. If Asimov had included moral debate in his series, the whole robot-empire-foundation series would have covered a whole shelf of a library. What he lacks in depth (deliberately, I may repeat), he makes up with his sheer prolificacy and his sweeping vision.
In any case, reading Asimov has been deeply satisfying so far and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon!!!