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Shinigami's picture
Written on Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Gods Themselves is a 1972 science fiction novel written by Isaac Asimov. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972 and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1973. Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers during his lifetime.

 I wouldn't call myself a "true sci-fi geek", but there are many science fiction books I like, and "The Gods themselves" by Isaac Asimov is surely one of them. 

Brief plot summary:

The discovery based on the idea of matter exchange between the universes provides humans with an endless source of energy, named the “Electron Pump”. Unfortunately only few scientists realize how dangerous this invention might be. Meanwhile, one of the aliens from another world tries to warn people about the coming catastrophe.

Book structure

The book is divided into three interrelated novels. The first one depicts the invention of  the “Electron Pump” and unsuccessful attempts of scientists to contact creatures from the parallel Universe. The second novel (and my favorite one), is devoted to the alien civilization. The third part takes place on the Moon, where a middle-aged physicist and his girlfriend try to stop the “Electron Pump” in order to prevent destruction of the Sun.

The characters:

  The main antagonist of the book – the inventor of the “Electron Pump” – is an embodiment of arrogance, egoism and infinite stupidity. His major opponent isn’t a “typical-hero-who-saves-the-Universe” – Lamont is too old for this stuff.  What happened with his woman in the end is, in my opinion, just a “deus ex machina”.

The aliens with their specific way of thinking, reproduction and lifecycles are more interesting, than humans. 

My impression of the book:

As I have mentioned, the “alien part” is my favorite. I’m fascinated with the way Asimov describes their amazing civilization, which is divided into two species (“soft ones” and “hard ones”) and three genders. I bet almost everyone is curious about possible ways of extraterrestrial evolution, but we all are condemned to die long before any discoveries in this field will be made, which makes stories about mysterious aliens especially amusing and even kind of creepy.

 But the “human sections” are not boring either. They are rather thought-provoking and  show how infinite human stupidity might be, especially when the matter concerns endless sources of energy and power. But there is always hope...

Now then, I can definitely recommend this book, if you are not afraid of scientific terminology .

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Shinigami recommends The Gods Themselves. Isaac Asimov

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Category: Books
Author: Isaac Asimov
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