Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Gods Themselves

Asimov can get annoying. He spends too much time describing the science and the "people" and not enough time developing characters and story. However, he usually has an interesting premise and writes just well enough to keep things interesting.

Alas, in "The Gods Themselves" he managed to show us everything that can go wrong with science fiction. There are a few "deep thoughts" held together with a horribly executed story. The premise is a cross-universe energy exchange device that can seemingly produce endless amounts of free energy, with only one minor catch. Alas, the catch is that the sun in one universe gets hotter, while that of the other gets colder, eventually wiping out life in both universes.

The story structure seemed to serve the ego of the author. "I am so good, I can rearrange things just because." Long sections of the parallel universe and their "triad" relationships are just plain tedious. They may be computers or they may be slaves to the "hard ones". However, it didn't seem to matter much for the story. The section in our universe didn't matter much either. The people on the moon had some sci-fi utopia and helped "provide" for the earth. Most of the people in both universe enjoyed the cheap power and didn't want to change. (Asimov did add a quip about people trying to make "safer" cigarettes and more fuel efficient cars rather than smoking and driving less. It was a nice soundbite, but it didn't fit in with the story.)

Some beings in both universes decide to rebel and... the book ends.

Asimov thought this was one of his favorite books. This enjoyment must have been based on the writing process, for reading this book is pure tedium.

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