Gods themselves Asimov
Book Review, Science fiction

The Gods Themselves written by Isaac Asimov

145838 This is a multiple award winning novel by Asimov which deals with the the concept of parallel universe. That theme and the title was what attracted me to this. The title comes from a quotation by Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805): "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens." ("Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.")

Its a story of how para-men (as earth began to call people from parallel universe) contacted men in order to construct an electron pump, a source of endless energy which is such an obvious boon that detractors are ostracised and any discussion on the possible side-effects are bowdlerized. As with other Asimov stories, this deals with the human nature and how technology affects us all…

The story moves in three parts with the middle part dealing with the para-universe and its inhabitants. This middle part is a feat in itself with Asimov constructing a whole other universe populated with beings we can barely relate to in the beginning. The first and third part deal withasimov the known universe, the last part taking place on moon…

Compared to other Asimov stories, this one left me a little cold, especially the last part, which seemed a little contrived and hurried. The ‘solution’ to the problem did not seem as elegant as it is in his other stories. And the middle part was not exciting, though interesting. The pace that is there in his other stories seemed missing. The characters are also forgettable, which is something that is constant in his other books…

Having said that, the theme is engaging and the writing is very Asimov…enough reason for a read…


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