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Old July 6 2013, 04:27 AM   #13
Allyn Gibson
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Re: Foundation, empire and robots

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
The Killer Bs Trilogy was as good as you would expect from authors of that caliber-- but totally inappropriate for the Foundation Universe. [SNIP] And their explanation for the all-human galaxy was mind-boggling SF, but turned the greatest SF future history ever written into a sickening holocaust.
But that goes to the point of the Kiiler B trilogy, that the inescapable logic of the Three Laws was more harmful than good because in their efforts to uphold the First Law the robots could do impossibly unfathomable evil. And further, that humanity doesn't need keepers.

Personally, I loved the revelation in Foundation's Triumph that Olivaw stacked the deck in Foundation's Edge so that his preferred solution to the problem of humanity would be imposed. I love the subtle way the book points out that Hari Seldon's viewpoint, that humanity can make its own way with the Foundation, is the viewpoint that wins out; what need is there of an Encyclopedia Galactica in a Galaxia?

Yes, the revelation that the robots sterilized the galaxy was chilling. That was the point. The First Law doesn't allow a robot the flexibility to see another intelligence as anything but a potential threat to a human being. It's the proactiveness of the thing that is so breathtaking.

It's funny. When Caliban came out, I really wanted Caliban to meet Daneel Olivaw, and I hoped that would happen in one of the later books. Obviously, it didn't, and after Triumph I'm glad it didn't. Olivaw never would have suffered Caliban or the New Law robots to live. He couldn't. They were uncontrollable rogue elements. He would have destroyed them immediately.

I guess one's reaction to the Second Foundation trilogy depends strongly on how one feels about R. Daneel Olivaw because, frankly, the Killer Bs portray Olivaw, though not without justification, as a genocidal monster. For me, that's not an illegitimate interpretation of the character we see in Earth and Prelude.
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