Tag: Morality

Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg – The Positronic Man | Review

Title: The Positronic Man

Author: Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 226

Rating: 4.25/5

When I ordered this book online, I didn’t realise that it was co-written and thought that it was just an Asimov novel. Then, when I picked it up, I was wondering whether I’d be able to tell which author wrote which parts based upon their voices. That didn’t really happen, and it just read like Asimov’s novels.

I believe it’s also based on Bicentennial Man, which I think I’ve read at some point, but it was long enough ago that I couldn’t remember anything. That meant that other than knowing that it was a robot novel, I went in pretty blind.

That’s actually not a bad shout, and I can give you the information you’ll need to decide whether to read it without too many spoilers. It basically follows a robot who starts to take on ever more human qualities and who eventually tries to prove to the world that he’s a person, even while admitting he’s not a human.

The most interesting parts here are the bits which deal with morality and questions of what exactly it is that makes someone human. That’s where Asimov is at his best, and he really shines here even if it’s actually Silverberg. It doesn’t matter.

Learn more about The Positronic Man.

 


Andrzej Sapkowski – Time of Contempt | Review

Title: Time of Contempt

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 348

Rating: 3.5/5

Having got this far with this series, I’m starting to lose a little faith in Sapkowski. Even back when I picked up the first couple of books, I said I was a little worried that he was going to be a better short story writer than a novelist, a prophecy that looked like it was going to be true with Blood of Elves. Unfortunately, I thought the same thing here.

I think the issue for me is that the Witcher is all about morality, for me at least, and when Sapkowski is writing short story collections, he can ask more questions of his readers. The novels just feel like a drawn out short story, and so while they’re by no means bad, they’re not quite as good, either. At least in my opinion.

I think I also feel as though the looming Nilfgaardian war has been cranking up the tension book after book and yet nothing is really happening. Build up is all well and good, but if there’s no payoff at the end then it risks just feeling a little cheap. But hey, what do I know? Sapkowski has sold way more books than I have, so he must be doing something right.

The good thing here is that Ciri takes centre stage of a character and she has some pretty good quirks to her. I particularly liked the way that she subverted one of her lessons about never failing to seize an advantage by sneaking off to go and see Geralt. It said a lot about her that she did that, and it was also believable enough to feel true to character. Kind of important really, because it also helps to set up the rest of the novel.

Overall, if you’ve read this far into the series then for sure keep going, but I do still think that the short story collections were better. Oh, and I’ve never played the games. Or watched the Netflix show.

Learn more about Time of Contempt.

 


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