I finished Prelude to Foundation last night and I have SO MANY QUESTIONS!
- Is Daneel the Mule? No, that doesn’t make sense – the Mule has precious feelings and Daneel does not. Is the Mule related to Daneel? Offspring?
- Can robots have offspring?
- Who is Daneel in the Foundation books, then? Does he make it to those books or is he discovered and killed?
- If he is killed, how many robots remain in the post-collapse galaxy?
- Daneel talks about a Plan B to save the galaxy outside of psychohistory – is Star’s End his plan B, or is that Seldon’s Plan B?
- If Star’s End is Seldon’s Plan B, then is creating a species who can tamper with human emotions Daneel’s Plan B?
- If that is his Plan B, why doesn’t he tell Hari about it so that he can consider it in his psychohistory calculations?
It could be that all of these questions are answered in Forward the Foundation, or in one of the other two books in the series: Foundation’s Edge and Foundation and Earth. Holy crap I have three books left to read? Dune didn’t take this long.
Moving on to other topics. I found the rest of the book since my last post to be less blatantly sexist. Dors does a good job of defending herself and being a strong female character, calling out gender-based stereotypes and prejudices when she comes across them. Raschelle was also an example of strong female leadership. Asimov wrote these women to be strong, so good on him for that.
It is too bad, then, that Raschelle’s only perceived weakness, which allows her to be defeated in the end, is her womanhood. It is also too bad that in the end Dors, an consistently strong and intelligent female character, turns out not to be a woman at all, but a robot. I wish Asimov would have left Dors a woman.
I could have done without the last couple of chapters as well, where Hari, desperate as he is for companionship and love, more or less forces himself and his affection on to Dors. How many times does this woman have to turn you down, Hari?
She tells him that he should find other historians to work with him. He says he wants her. He knows she’s a robot who has to follow the Laws of Robotics, so she has to make sure psychohistory happens, so he tells her that if she leaves he won’t work. She stays.
She tells him she is incapable of love, and that the only time she engages in physical intimacy is when she feels that to not do so would hurt the person coming on to her. She has never asked to be, nor wanted to be, kissed. Hari decides he doesn’t care because he wants her and that’s that (that’s almost a direct quote). So he tells her to kiss him, and she doesn’t want to hurt him, so she does. Now Dors is his historian/lover robot.
Well, Hari wouldn’t be the first to have a robot for a lover, I guess…
So far my sense is that I should have read iRobot instead.
Okay enough talking -gotta go to work!