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Customer Reviews for

The Gods Themselves

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Still my favorite sci-fi novel

    In the 1970s, this was the book that made me rank Asimov above the other sci-fi greats, and it hasn't really dated itself since. With our continued dependence on fossil fuels, this cautionary tale about the perils of a scientific miracle energy source that seems too good to be true remains chillingly plausible. Sadly, the least believable part is the idea that our heroes may be able to avert the crisis before it's too late.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    A Tour de Force that is ALSO a good, exciting, yet thoughtful story!

    This book is one of the author's few books dealing with intelligence other than humans and human-made robots, and his only extended treatment of sexuality among extraterrestrials. The three parts of the novel take place on Earth, in a parallel universe with different values for basic constants of physics, and on the Moon, illustrating the three parts of the quote from Schiller cited in the foreword, "Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain." Written in the 1980's (as a result of a challenge to write about "alien sex", according to the author's memoirs), the story is an amusing yet salient lesson about the danger of fooling with the natural environment (in a way which, thankfully, seems to be against our current understanding of natural law) to obtain seemingly free energy, and a logical resolution to the impasse between the antagonist's warnings and short-sided policies of humans and aliens.

    The reader should have a nodding acquaintance with quantum physics, but given the author's famous explanatory talents, no more than needed to follow the plot of a Star Trek episode. It is not for younger children since it does involve vague, sanitized descriptions of ALIEN sexuality within the context of the aliens' family structure, and of the danger of low-gravity sex between a new immigrant from Earth and a native of a human lunar colony. At least a middle school understanding of both the science and the sexual implications would be advisable.

    I shipped this copy to my grown son, who has never read it, so he may also review this book from his perspective.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    For me...boring

    Sorry, but 2/3 of this bood is spent in an alternate universe where amoeba like creatures which merge, mate, communicate, etc, etc...but I just didn't care. If you prefer 'hard' sci fi...then I don't think this book is for you. It wasn't for me.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Asimov's genius shining through

    Terrific story, with believable characters and all too realistic politics

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2003

    This book didn't have anything to do with the gender role debate

    People are free to think that way, but they are thinking wrong. Alien sexual biology is merely a side note in a much broader story. Asimov does create a fascinating alien culture with this fine work, and prompts the reader to weigh moral arguments about the benefits versus the pitfalls of technology. The issue of utilizing new technology when there are questions about it's negative effects is the real theme in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2000

    The fiction is better than the science in this case.

    A very good read. The mid section will make you gasp when you uncover the truth about the aliens in the alternate universe. The stuff about the moon and the energy gets a little tedious though. Still not as good as his work in the 50's like the Galactic Empire novels and the 'The End of Eternity.'

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    Posted July 18, 2011

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted April 14, 2010

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    Posted July 5, 2011

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    Posted February 18, 2013

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    Posted October 19, 2013

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    Posted November 20, 2011

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    Posted December 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

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    Posted September 2, 2013

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    Posted April 12, 2012

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    Posted March 21, 2010

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