Next Time on Stars End

Galaxy SF, 10/1953

We just recorded our latest episode last night and we’re back to reading the works of the Great and Glorious Az.

We’re thrilled to announce that, by popular demand, we’ll be reading the Robot Novels beginning at the beginning with The Caves of Steel. That’s my go-to novel if I want to introduce someone to Asimov’s work.

This novel was written at a time when Asimov was trying to get away from being a “one-editor-writer” and so he was working with, among others, Horace Gold of Galaxy Science Fiction. Gold had serialized The Stars, Like Dust in Galaxy under the title Tyrann and he was anxious to serialize another. He suggested a novel about robots, but Asimov declined. Robots, thought Asimov, were for short stories; the ideas wouldn’t carry an entire novel.

So Gold suggested that Asimov write a detective story where the detective had a robot partner and Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw were born. John W. Campbell had always claimed that a science fiction mystery story was a contradiction-in-terms and Asimov wanted to prove him wrong. The Caves of Steel became Asimov’s most successful book up to that point.

But first, it was serialized in Galaxy Science Fiction in October, November, and December of 1953. For this episode, we’re reading the first installment which corresponds to chapters 1-7 in the book. If you’re interested in reading The Caves of Steel as it first appeared, you can find that issue of Galaxy here courtesy of but either way, you can enjoy the original artwork by Ed Emshwiller right here. Our episode will be out in a few days!

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