My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
In the twenty-second century Earth obtains limitless, free energy from a source science little understands: an exchange between Earth and a parallel universe, using a process devised by the aliens. But even free energy has a price. The transference process itself will eventually lead to the destruction of Earth’s Sun—and of Earth itself.
Only a few know the terrifying truth—an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun. They know the truth—but who will listen? They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy—but who will believe? These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to Earth’s survival
Isaac Asimov was a prolific sci-fi writing genius. I can’t comprehend writing the number of books that he wrote, and The Gods Themselves is, by far, my favorite. I reread it every few years and fall in love with it all over.
The interesting thing about this book is that of its three parts, I’m not that keen on the first and the last. The middle part is where the books shines, yet I read it fully every time, finding new insights I didn’t see before.
The book begins on earth, where an incompetent fool accidentally discovers a new source of energy–one that seems limitless and free. I love this setup because *dons cynicism hat* that’s how things happen in the real world *removes cynicism hat*.
The second part of the book–the part that makes it shine–takes us to the parallel universe that feeds Earth the free energy. The thrust of the overarching story is why TANSTAAFL, but the brilliance of the story comes from the interplay of a family of aliens who discover the implications of their species’ interaction with the humans.
The family group consists of three different genders of this race, each of whom plays an important role in supporting the family and birthing the next generation. Mr. Asimov’s character development and exploration of this little family’s heart-wrenching journey is brilliant. It brings tears to my eyes. It makes me want to throw the book across the room because we get so few pages of Dua, Odeen, and Tritt.
The last third of the book wraps up the overarching storyline but always leaves me a tad cold. I miss my little triad, and want to to put them all in my pocket and let them live there forever.
If you’d like to see how an amazing science fiction novel is written, I recommend this book. I give it six stars for how amazing it is but have to subtract one for the ending. The middle story is the epitome of a five star read.