Tag: Human Being

Isaac Asimov – The Robots of Dawn | Review

Title: The Robots of Dawn

Author: Isaac Asimov

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 480

Rating: 3.5/5

This book is one of the installments in Asimov’s Robot series, and so that makes it essentially a science fiction detective novel with a whole bunch of ethics thrown in. Asimov is probably most famous for creating the three laws of Robotics, which are the following:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

What’s fun about this book, like the other books that tie in with these laws, is that Asimov basically created them only so that he could bend and break them. We get some great examples of that here, including some suggestions of scenarios which could cause two of the laws to come into conflict with themselves and to cause a robot to overload.

Then we have the morality side of things. In fact, the whole case here revolves around the murder of a robot, and so there’s a lot of discussion around whether such a thing is even possible. After all, robots aren’t alive, right? There’s even some stuff on how while you can use roboticide and homicide, the word murder” doesn’t seem to quite apply.

Obviously I don’t want to go too much into the details of the plot, because the last thing that I want to do is to spoil it for people. What I will say is that it holds its own both as a science fiction novel and as a mystery novel, and indeed I think that Asimov is one of the underrated masters of the genre. I’ve read a mystery of his called A Whiff of Death which was set in our world on an American college campus, and that was fantastic.

Another piece of good news is that despite the fact that this is the third book in a series, you can still read it as a standalone if you want to. Sure, you’ll get a little more out of it if you follow the series through from start to finish, but it’s not a hard and fast rule and all that you miss out on is a little character development.

So all of this brings us on to the final big question of whether this is worth reading or not, and my answer to that would be 100% yes. Asimov is a fantastic writer no matter what he’s doing, and while there are other books of his that are a lot of fun, this is great too. Jeez, he always is.

Learn more about The Robots of Dawn.

Charles Bukowski – Open All Night | Review

Title: Open All Night

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 368

Rating: 4*/5


Charles Bukowski - Open All Night

Charles Bukowski – Open All Night


This collection of Bukowski’s poetry is part of a collection of work that he left behind to be published after his death, which actually opens it up to a whole new possibility. Regardless of how much he never gave a shit about what people thought about him, I’m pretty sure that every human being has some level of self-preservation. There’s a natural instinct not to share certain things because you know that it could change the way people look at you. But if you’re leaving poems behind to be published after you’ve died, does it really matter?

That’s why I feel like this book – and some of his other posthumous work – is somehow more honest than most of his other stuff. And that’s in no way a criticism of Bukowski’s work – it’s just the way that these things work. And you also get to see inside his mind as his death approached, when he was in his late sixties and early seventies. A little morbid, perhaps, but one of the interesting things about reading Bukowski is that you get to experience his life with him.

As for the poetry itself, you can expect to see Bukowski’s typical subjects here, including women, drinking and horse racing. But there’s something more than that, although it’s hard to quantify it in a review. It’s like the collection has a soul of its own, a wizened old soul but a soul nonetheless. The poems somehow seem to go together to create a new cohesive whole that’s bigger than its parts, which gives it an edge over some of the other collections.

Overall, it’s a pretty good collection, and a good place to start whether you’re new to Bukowski’s work or not. You can really feel his passion as it flows from the page, even if it is applied in cynical, misogynist ways. The interesting thing about Bukowski is that he was honest – he always told it like it was, or at least how it was for him. He was uncompromising in his beliefs, and that’s what makes him a good writer.


Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski


Click here to buy Open All Night.