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Isaac Asimov's Utopia (Caliban Series , Vol…
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Isaac Asimov's Utopia (Caliban Series , Vol 3) (original 1996; edição 1996)

por Roger MacBride Allen

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392850,536 (3.58)5
On Inferno the old tensions between Spacer and Settler are at least as strong as ever, but the 2 sides are managing to work together reasonably well, until the Governor decides to create an artificial sea in the Utopia region.
Membro:stettin
Título:Isaac Asimov's Utopia (Caliban Series , Vol 3)
Autores:Roger MacBride Allen
Informação:Ace Books (1996), Edition: Ace trade pbk. ed, Paperback
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****1/2
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Isaac Asimov's Utopia por Roger MacBride Allen (1996)

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The scientific enterprise of using a comet to dig canals on a planet (by exploding it and guiding the chunks to fall along a predetermined line) was interesting. The philosophical problems investigated by contrasting 3-law, new-law, and no-law robots are no different from those of people more-or-less bound by human law & convention (and you can't discuss them for metal or meat intelligences without considering the reality of Free Will).
The character were fairly well drawn, reasonably interesting, but ultimately it's just a nice read not an earth-shattering revelation.
MacBride does a good job of channeling Asimov's style but doesn't have the Doctor's depth of scientific understanding, or life-experiences to really substitute for him.
Basically, putting Asimov's name on the book is like putting a trademark symbol on a product.
NOTES: pp160-ff: circumventing a 3-law computer (not ambulatory robot) by posing real-world data and decisions as "simulations" works up to a point (more interestingly explored in "Ender's Game" of course).
p. 188: A conundrum not just with robots but with children: "It was bad enough when you could do very little for your own creations. It was worse when they expected even less."
p. 268: reaching the crux of the primary theme - does having robot slaves enable people to do more and better things, or does it disable them through dependence and arrogance? The author is unquestionably of the latter belief, although (Like Asimov) he really wants a partnership of meat and metal people. "In the old days, the people of Inferno had only known of one way to do things, one way of living life: have the robots do it. That was the answer to everything. And it was an answer that had worked. Now they had been exposed not just to other possibilities, but also to the notion that there were other possibilities, other answers that might work as well....Now a way of life based solely on robotic labor was merely one option among many. How could that be changed back?"
Not knowing anything about the author's political positions, still I wonder if he even sees that this is directly analogous to believing that the solution to every problem is "have the Government do it?"
pp. 298-299: facing another conundrum that applies to meat as well as metal persons: acting to save one person in danger can result in harm to more people, and will-less obedience to the "law" actually defeats the purpose of that law. Donald is a Three-Law robot with the usual problem of balancing conflicting demands of the Laws in some instances. Kresh is his owner, governor of Inferno, who ordered him not to tell other robots of the man Beddle's possible danger. "In short, distracting robots from the evacuation could cause endless mischief. Besides which, the clear intent of Governor Kresh's order had been to prevent Donald from talking. By disobeying only part of Kresh's order, he had minimized his violation of the Second Law. Donald had done his best to balance all the conflicting demands, retaining the option of hyperwaving a warning to the other Three-Law robots while refraining from actually doing so...But the time would come. He knew that. Unless Beddle was rescued in time, the First Law demand that Donald act to save him would, sooner or later, overwhelm the conflicting First and Second demands that he keep silent. Sooner or later, he would be compelled to act. Understanding the compulsion he was under in no way reduced the force of that compulsion. He would have to do something. But he had no idea what." ( )
  librisissimo | May 28, 2016 |
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  mulliner | Oct 17, 2009 |
Not quite as good as Asimov himself, this is a decent approximation. Set in Asimov's universe, and exploring the usual human/robot relationship. ( )
  Karlstar | Feb 9, 2009 |
Utopia is the third and final Asimov universe book from Allen. It centers around an attempt to accelerate the terraforming of a planet by drastic measures which drive third law robots wild... The measures are so drastic that they endanger humans, whilst protecting a large number of humans. Unfortunately three law robots have trouble seeing the difference between the two.

I don't think this book is as well written as the earlier two Allen books (Caliban and Inferno) and therefore not as good as the Asimov books set in the universe. It was however reasonably engaging and I'm not offended that I spent time and money on it. An ok book, but nothing special basically.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/Roger_MacBride_Allen/Utopia.html ( )
  mikal | Nov 15, 2008 |
See Caliban.
  IdeasWIN | Aug 10, 2008 |
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On Inferno the old tensions between Spacer and Settler are at least as strong as ever, but the 2 sides are managing to work together reasonably well, until the Governor decides to create an artificial sea in the Utopia region.

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