I started Forward the Foundation last night and this morning, page 21, the beginning of Ch. 4, stopped me dead in my tracks:
What do you mean you don’t understand Dors’ knowledge of robots, Hari? What do you mean you don’t understand her true relationship with Demerzel? What do you mean you don’t know why she stayed with you?
The answer to all of these questions is clearly that she’s a robot, which you deduced and confronted her about at the end of Prelude, which you also decided that you, and I quote, “don’t care!” Hari, you said that multiple times. You described her as inhuman. You told her she was different. You said you knew and that you didn’t care.
So what gives??
I know there were 5 years between the two books but there’s no way Asimov is that bad at continuity – consider the rest of the series (and his two other series which occur in the same Galaxy) as proof.
One possible interpretation is that Hari has convinced himself that he was wrong, that Dors isn’t a robot. Even that he never explicitly said she was a robot at the end of Prelude and was never sure to begin with, and now he’s decided to believe she’s human because that’s a nicer thing for him to believe.
I went back and reviewed the last chapter of Prelude to make sure I didn’t misread it. Maybe it read in to it with too much of a bias – maybe this other interpretation is possible.
I just don’t see how Dors and Hari can have the kind of confrontational dialogue they have at the end of Prelude and then Hari can seemingly behave as if that exchange never happened. The narrative just doesn’t connect for me.
Confused, I briefly googled around to see if there were forums or posts on the interwebs which could help me understand this about-face. It looks like there are some out there, but they are riddled with spoilers of the remaining books in the series.
It looks like all I can do here is keep reading and see how this plays out.
But, for the record, I’m calling shenanigans.