The beginning of this mystery thriller was slow, but it soon became riveting and suspenseful, with chase scenes, murder plots, and good old fashioned politics.
John Cotton slowly unravels the truth behind a commercial conspiracy to steal millions of dollars, and soon becomes the target of an unknown entity whose politics and pilfering he must publicize.
“Cotton watched, fascinated. He felt no panic now. Instead, for the first time in his life, he knew the complete measure of fear.” (173)
” ‘…would you publish that story knowing what I’ve told you?’ ‘I don’t know ,’ Cotton said. ‘Not for sure. I’d have to think about it. But I guess I would. Who am I to be judge and jury? I don’t think I’d have the right not to print it.’ ” (325)
This fascinating novel is simultaneously thought provoking and entertaining — a rarity among books, much less for a science fiction novel. Its philosophical depth is accompanied by a twisting plot which is woven around morals, politics, and culture.
Baley is a plainclothesman, a police officer who must travel to a foreign planet to uncover an impossible mystery, with his own planet’s future at stake.
With his ever-faithful robot companions at his side, and despite his error-riddled forays into an unknown culture, he achieves success. Amidst his victory, he unintentionally discovers a new breed of robot; a breed whose abilities remain hidden both to their creators and the universe.
Comment: I was debating whether to use the verb “entertain” in the first sentence, but I couldn’t come up with a verb to describe “thought provoking”. Out of my own innovation(or laziness), I came up with the verb “thovoking”, although it sounds more like a description of hiking through the arctic wilderness.