Robots and Empire is a 1985 science-fiction novel written by Isaac Asimov. It is part of the Robot Series.
The main scope of this book is to reconcile two of Asimov's main series, the Robot series and the Empire series (continued later in the The Foundation Series series). That is, to understand the transition from a mixed humanity-robot universe, dominated by the increasingly robotic societies of the Spacer Worlds, to a human-only Galactic Empire.
| This article, Robots and Empire, contains spoilers. Be forewarned, plot and/or ending details follow.
It has been two centuries since the events of The Robots of Dawn. Elijah Baley, the hero of the previous books, has been dead for 160. But his memory remains in the mind of his lover Gladia who, as a Spacer, has a much longer life. She meets a seventh-generation descendant of Elijah, and together they start a tour of the new worlds settled by Earth. Evidence is that some Spacer worlds are decaying, especially Solaria, which seems deserted.
At the same time, they fight a covert war with Elijah's archrival Kelden Amadiro, still alive. Amadiro and his young fellow roboticist have a deadly plan for Earth: using sophisticated technologies, they plan to make Earth uninhabitably radioactive in a matter of years. Gladia's robots, R. Daneel Olivaw and R. Giskard, fly to Earth to stop them, using Giskard's telepathic powers, as well as Daneel's Zeroth Law of Robotics.
Daneel and Giskard decide that it would be best for humanity to abandon Earth, but change the time scale to one hundred fifty years, allowing humanity to evacuate Earth. However, the stress of the decision destroys Giskard's brain. Before his destruction, Giskard teaches the telepathic techniques to Daneel, who puts them to good use in later books.
|Isaac Asimov Novels|
|Robot Series: The Caves of Steel | The Naked Sun | The Robots of Dawn | Robots and Empire|
|Empire Series: The Stars Like Dust | The Currents of Space | Pebble in the Sky|
|Foundation Series: Prelude to Foundation | Forward the Foundation | Foundation | Foundation and Empire | Second Foundation | Foundation's Edge | Foundation and Earth|