Isaac Asimov's Caliban Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Isaac Asimov's Caliban

A robot named Caliban is designed to create his own nature, but he breaks out of the lab and is chased by police. New type of robots are built by scientists which are different from regular robots. Regular robots are built with a positronic brain, but the new robots are built with gravitonic brains. The difference is that positronic robots are slaves to people while gravitonic robots are partners and equal to people.
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Caliban is a gravitonic robot but he is built to neither be a slave nor a partner to people. He was built in order of scientists to see what nature he would decide for himself while he is in the lab. Caliban breaks out of the lab and is chased by the cops.

Meanwhile, Officer Alvar Kresh is investigating a crime scene. The crime scene is an attempted murder of a Dr. Leving. Kresh analyzes robotic footprints walking out of the crime scene, which leads him to believe that the attempted murder was committed by a robot.

Tonya Welton, a person of authority, is called in to make sure that the progress of the gravitonic robots are not negatively affected by people in society.

A man named Simcor Beddle leads a group who supports the robot movement. Simcor and his group called the Ironheads begin protesting violently when Dr. Leving makes a comment that gravitonic robots are not good substitutes or replacements for humans.

Dr. Leving's actions bring him trouble because he created Caliban to develop his own direction. Meanwhile, Caliban resurfaces and begins telling his story to a robot named Terach. Officer Kresh finds Terach and forces Terach to give him all the information about Caliban.

Officer Kresh and Dr. Leving find Caliban and Kresh reveals that it was not Caliban who assaulted Dr. Leving. The robot that tried to murder Dr. Leving was Tony Welton's robot assistant named Ariel.

Ariel was designed to create her own direction just like Caliban, but she decided to do evil. Caliban's intentions were good compared to Ariel. Ariel is killed by Kresh, but Kresh allows Caliban to live because he believes that he is good inside. Caliban goes to live with Dr. Leving.
Best part of story, including ending: What I liked about this story was that Caliban was able to choose his own nature. It was good that Caliban decided that he wanted to be a good robot. I'm glad he was allowed to live at the end.

Best scene in story: My favorite part was when Officer Kresh reveals that Caliban is not the one who tried to murder Dr. Leving. I was happy that Caliban got justice and was not guilty.

Opinion about the main character: What I liked most about officer Kresh was that he was a smart police officer. He didn't automatically assume that Caliban was guilty and researched to find out who really did the crime.

The review of this Book prepared by Alex Peterson a Level 4 Yellow-Headed Blackbird scholar

Chapter Analysis of Isaac Asimov's Caliban

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Robots, Computers, VR    -   Yes Robot, PC, VR Plotlets:    -   fighting evil robot(s) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   distant future Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Isaac Asimov's Caliban

Roger MacBride Allen Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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