The Gods Themselves Mass Market Paperback – Sep 4 1990
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Only a few know the terrifying truth--an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun. They know the truth--but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy--but who will believe? These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Asimov explores many possibilities in the human and alien psyche, considering how our negative impulses can push us on to greatness- great glory, or great tragedy. He investigates how the perceptions of who we are will change with time- the perceptions of others, and our self-perception. I was engrossed- I wanted to know what was going to happen next to these characters that I cared about. And what happened next, especially at the end of the units, was usually not what I expected. It is a well written novel. And therein lies the flaw.
Perhaps if the characters weren't so well portrayed, it wouldn't matter that we never get to find out what happens to them. This is written more as three separate stories, around a common theme, rather than a novel. And the three stories themselves are more slice-of-life than the traditional Western novella genre. So we begin to care a great deal about character, only to see him disappear at the end of the first unit, and only be tangentially mentioned in the third unit.Read more ›
This book was something of a departure for him, not being related to any of his other SF works, but still shows his sure hand at plotting and his deft melding of real science with a literally out-of-this-world idea. The story is told in three completely different segments, related only by the commonality of the scientific idea that drives this book, the Electron Pump, a device that can, apparently, deliver infinite free energy by trading material with a universe that operates on slightly different physical laws than our own.
The first segment is a beautiful glimpse into the sometimes not-so-nice world of the academic researcher, into who gets credit (not necessarily the deserving one) for an idea, how animosities begin and are nurtured, about the crassness of public policy being determined by those who do not and cannot understand the basics of the science that delivers the technological goodies.
The second segment is the part that makes this book deserving of its Hugo Award. Shifting from our universe to the para-universe that initiated the transfer that began the Electron Pump, Asimov invents a truly alien race that is at once believable and violently different from our own. Here we meet Odeen, Tritt, and Dua, who each form one part of tri-sexed whole.Read more ›
The novel is constructed in three parts. The first and third sections involve human beings and rely too much on telling and not enough on showing--lots of long, didactic conversations and far too little incident. The third section is particularly weak; it is dull and bloodless with a take on human sexuality which is supposed to be advanced but, from today's standpoint, seems firmly mired in a seventies mentality.
The triumph of this novel is the masterful middle section. Asimov depicts an alien society that is truly unlike mankind, yet he manages to depict distinct individuals. This is quite surprising coming from a writer who is known neither for characterization or alien-building. It's just a shame that the rest of the novel could not maintain this quality and had to end on such a tragically dull note.
Most recent customer reviews
I read this award-winning novel back in the 1970's, and just re-read it last week (a gap of 40 years). Read morePublished 14 months ago by Marc H. Stevens
As you can read from the jacket of The Gods Themselves, something bad is going to happen to Earth and only three "people" know about it--an Earth scientist, an alien, and... Read morePublished on May 7 2004 by Cully Larson
AGAINST STUPIDITY THE GODS THEMSELVES CONTEND IN VAIN. The book is about stupidity, stupidity, stupidity. Read morePublished on April 12 2004 by Jim-bob Furlbottom
To any reader of science fiction, Isaac Asimov is an old familiar. Not only did he create the three laws of robotics and 'Foundation', his name also presides over countless... Read morePublished on June 10 2003 by J. Aaron Bellamy
Asimov was the all time master of the American sf of his era. Like all good teenage boys I really enjoyed the puzzling Foundation books. Read morePublished on May 31 2003
'The Gods Themselves' can most accurately be described as three distinct novellas that are linked by a ingenious premise (the transfer of matter and energy between parallel... Read morePublished on May 15 2003 by D. Cloyce Smith
The book is based on the electron-pump as an unlimited source of energy, possibly the most creative idea I've ever seen in a science fiction book. Read morePublished on May 10 2003 by Fernando