Robot Dreams Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Isaac Asimov - science writer, historian, and futurist - accurately predicted how technological breakthroughs would be developed and utilized, years before they became reality. His foresight envisioned calculators, computerized cars, and advances in the field of robotics as chronicled in such popular books as I, Robot; Robots and Empire; and The Robots of Dawn.
Robot Dreams spans the body of his fiction from the 1940s to the mid ’80s, featuring all of the classic Asimovian themes - from the scientific puzzle and the extraterrestrial thriller to the psychological discourse. In addition to the title story (a Locus poll winner and Hugo and Nebula Award finalist), this collection features several of Asimov’s robot tales. A robopsychologist must outwit a machine determined to stay hidden in "Little Lost Robot"; a woman’s talent for "Light Verse" overshadows her true accomplishments with her robot servants; "The Last Question" presented to computer after computer over a hundred billion years may remain forever unanswered…and 17 more future visions from the grand master of science fiction.
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|Listening Length||14 hours and 34 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 29, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #16,081 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#49 in Science Fiction Anthologies & Short Stories
#123 in Science Fiction Anthologies (Books)
#128 in Hard Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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I won’t review the stories, there is plenty of information out there on Asimov and his writing, this review will only be for the Kindle copy.
Unfortunately, the publisher put close to no effort in providing their readers with a properly formatted title. The table of contents has at least one glaring error where one of the stories is a subheading of the one before it. Then there are OCR errors, spacing errors, paragraph break errors throughout the book.
The errors break up the flow of the story as you run into sentences that do not make sense and you have to pause and think to realize you’re running into an OCR error.
Overall, the stories can still be enjoyed but it’s highly disappointing to see that the publisher puts so little effort in providing a quality product to their paying customers.
I wish Amazon would use it’s muscle in situations like this to force quality checks. The publisher can correct the issue or Amazon can hire an editor to do it for them and simply take all proceeds from the sales of the books till Amazon recuperates their editing expenses.
I loved it. It's imaginative. But best of all, I have a new fave short story. Not the 1 recommended. And not widely known! It's called The Billiard Ball. And I read the last few pages grinning ear-to-ear.
As in all collections of stories, I found some better than others. But I never found 1 that I didn't like outright. (how often can that be said?) And ALL the stories are thought provoking (how often...?)
It's robot stories (only a few) made me think "How could they've made 'I Robot' better?"
The disclaimer/introduction is interesting too. Written in the 80s as an old man, it's not so much of his mea culpa of things he got wrong, but the timeline of his writing that impresses. 1st story he wrote was in 1939 when he was 19! Think of the (lack of) technology back then and these stories jump off the page!
Many other stories in this collection center on "Multivac," an immense computer. The name is an obvious derivative of UNIVAC, a large, vacuum-tube based computer of the early 1950s. UNIVAC became famous for predicting that Eisenhower would win the 1952 election based on early returns (against pundit predictions that Stevenson would win). That led directly to one story, "Franchise," which takes the ability to sample a small number of votes to predict a total election outcome and drives the idea to an absurd (but nevertheless interesting) extreme.
There are a variety of other stories, from ones dealing with beings without bodies to one talking about an alien medical investigator who has come to Earth to find out more about a disease. All are worth the read, and some are truly fascinating and end in very unexpected ways.
Ralph McQuarrie provides the cover illustration and several others for individual stories; they are of the style familiar to anyone who has seen original art from "Star Wars" (which he worked on). Asimov's introduction is amusing; he explains what he got right in predicting the future--and what he got spectacularly wrong. He discusses this with respect to both stories in the book (Multivac, for instance) and to other books and stories he had written decades earlier.
All in all, this book was a fun read.
Top reviews from other countries
I did try marking the typos - mostly errors in formatting such as failure to start a new paragraph when the speaker changed, or intoducing a double line-break in the middle of a sentence - but after the first few chapters I was losing the will to live and gave up the unequal struggle.
I was disturbed by the many unfavourable reviews highliting this problem, but most of them were a few years old so I assumed that the books had been proof-read - maybe (miracles have been known to happen) by a Real Human Being - and the problem had been solved. Maybe they haven't been proof-read, or maybe - an even more disturbing possibility - they have and, although I shudder at the thought, they might originally have been even worse.
Just as an aside; this ebook costs £6.37, at about the same time I bought two collections of Edgar Wallace classics for 99p each. Now which do you think has the most errors? That's right - Robot Dreams wins by the length of a motorway.
If you can get beyond the poor formatting, the stories within contain some of Asimov's gems, but I would strongly recommend that one purchases the physical version until such time as the formatting of the eBook has been sorted.
With these reservations, if you are interested in vintage SCi-Fi, this is worth having in your collection.
Having said this, some of Asimov's classics are within, - if you can get past the nightmare of an e-book gone wrong. .