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When I heard about this book, the basic idea sounded very appealing, so I had a quick look, and managed to find a very old book in my dad's shelves.
The general idea of The Gods Themselves is that in the near future, a scientist "discovers" an unlimited energy source, called an electron pump, which interacts with a parallel universe. Life on Earth soon becomes dependant on this energy, without thinking of the possible consequences.
The book started in a quite interesting fashion, following a scientist who has found a very dangerous problem with the electron pumps, and is trying to persuade those higher up to shut them down. However, it soon becomes apparent that this first half of the book is not going to go very far, and there is a distinct lack of anything happening in the first section.
The next part of The Gods Themselves is based in the parallel universe which are also involved in the electron pump. Things are very different there, and almost the whole middle section of the book is spent explaining what the beings on this alternate world are like, again, with very little actually happening that impacts on the rest of the book.
The concluding part of the book is the based on the moon, where another huge amount of time is spent explaining what things are like there before anything happens. And when something does happen, it's really quite unexciting.
After hearing about this book being such a "great", I was incredibly disappointed reading it, and finding how boring it was to me.
The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov My library find last visit was a battered old copy of this book, which I very much hope is still in print and readily available. (Ever noticed how the best library books often look rather well read?) Although it is set in the twenty second century, I realized this book was quite old because it was science fiction, without a personal computer or mobile phone in sight! At first I found this a reminder that the book had been published way back in 1972, and a lot has changed. However, most of the issues are relevant to today. This issue of sustainability is central to the electron pump, and the misgivings that Denison and Lamont have about Hallam’s pet technology. The personal disputes and the pettiness of Hallam are unfortunately familiar in professions today, as indeed they always have been, for human nature does not change. There is also the issue of genetic engineering, which is current today. There is the issue of prejudice, and the human desire to feel superior to newcomers. There is also love, between Earthman and Lunarite girl, and sexual intrigue at that level interlocking with the scientific intrigue. I found all this quite exciting. The book jumps about a bit, and I suddenly found myself reading about characters in a parallel universe. Asimov’s imagination is apparently limitless, as he conceived new civilizations, new mores, and new life forms. I found this totally intriguing, and yes, love arises, but don’t think you’re going to get any earth style romance here. Sensuousness and love, yes, but none of our usual erotica in the para-universe. This book is a great read, and well worth the effort of flipping back the pages now and then to remind yourself how someone fitted into the story earlier.
This is the most amazing book I have ever read. Sounds hackneyed, I know, but it's true. It would be my first choice of book in any collection (the nuns at the convent would kill me - I should really choose the Bible first!) This book normally languishes under its normal classification of "Science Fiction". And yes, it is SF, and as a twelve year old, I read it as such. BUT - it is also a beautifully crafted love story, incorporating awakening sexual awareness, love, ethics, coping with society and the pain and joy of parenthood. One and a half decades later, the story is still a good one for me. Honestly, if you haven't read it, it's one of my recommended life experiences, one of which is sugared strawberries, cream and champagne. This book is good.
A new invention brings an unlimited power source, but at what risk? T