2017年1月26日 星期四

害怕與大自然接觸的地球人︰阿西莫夫《裸陽》(The Naked Sun)


《祼陽》(The Naked Sun)的故事接著《鋼穴》發生。上集Baley查案有功,今次竟被派到外星Solaria查案,與他一同被派去的還有Aurora的人型機械人Daneel。有趣的是,因為政治原因,Daneel要隱藏機械人身份。

為什麼Solaria的案件要其他星球的人助查? 原來這是個物質豐盛,人口稀少的星球。那裡的成年人全都是獨居的,一個人坐擁大宅和一萬個機械人(並非人形)。他們愛獨處,為了繁殖需要才勉強和政府分配下來的人結婚。結婚後大家還是分開住,每隔一段時間才見一次。在這樣的狀況下,要殺人很難。而且他們不缺錢,又無甚愛愛恨情仇,很難想像有人會動殺機殺人。所以,在這次兇案中,死者的妻子Gladia是唯一一個嫌疑犯。
今次Baley除了查案,還有一個特別任務,就是觀察Solaria星球。住在「鋼穴」的Earthmen,莫說不曾離開地球,他們連地球表面也不願上。而且他們在Spacers眼中是充滿病菌的下等人(外星沒有病菌與疾病,Spacers很長壽,有幾百歲命),根本沒機會探訪外星,對外星的了解自然少。Baley肩負這特別任務,若成功破案可加冠晉祿,但他其實很害怕。他是抱著回不到家鄉的憂慮出發的。書名《裸陽》來自他在Solaria的體驗。Spacers不像地球人般住在地底,他們直接暴露在空氣之下,與大自然共存。Baley要來到外星,才體驗到被太陽直射的感覺。故事說他由極度害怕,到嚮往這種感覺。他有這種轉變,是因為他盡忠職守又個性倔強,為了達成任務,硬著頭皮走到戶外去。這一趟旅程,令他的心態改變,變成一個想移居外星的Earthman。
凶案的嫌疑犯Gladia是個重要角色,Baley由懷疑她變成同情她,他們之間的關係變得微妙。想不到阿西莫夫筆下會出現香艷情節。Glaida與Baley第一次視像通話,便讓他看到全相。原來Solarians將視像通話("viewing"-那可是很像真的視像)和見面("seeing:)分得很開。他們不當viewing是見面,所以給人看到裸體也沒有問題;這是他們的文化。如果此情節不在阿西莫夫的小說出現,我還以為是鹹古呢! (題外話,Baley的妻子有點無辜,情敵是個美女不特止,還要是個Spacer美女,養尊處優,保養得宜。丈夫到過外星,突然嚮往探索外星,自己卻從未到過外星,難以理解他的轉變,只知自己突然跟不上丈夫的步伐。Baley是好丈夫,又因為他知道此生都沒機會移民外星,與Gladia「沒可能」,故他覺得自己不會對妻子不忠。不過我覺得他已愛上Gladia,毫無疑問,不能說一句「沒可能」沒當沒事發生。不過阿西莫夫在下一集也沒多著墨他與妻子的關係。這個妻子角色最後變成次要角色,有點浪費。) 此書也是以Baley的查案過程推進情節。有趣的是,為怕Daneel(因為要保護他)阻止他探索Solaria,他以詭計將Daneel禁錮。他查案的大部份時間都沒有Daneel在場!這本書探討的不是人類與機械人的關係,而是Earhmen和Spacers的分別。Spacers處處比Earthmen優越,但這種生活方式太過火,他們最終害了自己。人類珍視的親子關係、愛情關係,以及人與人之間的接觸,Solarians避之則吉。他們害怕與其他人面對面,害怕身體接觸,覺得性愛是難以忍受的事。他們就連小孩子也討厭。Gladia與其他Solarians不同,她感情豐富,她渴望愛情,所以才這麼痛苦。 這本書的偵探成份比上一本弱,查案過程有點沈悶,謎底我也不大滿意。而且阿西莫夫探討的命題,與人類的處境相差太遠。如我們雖然住在石屎森林,但我們很多人都喜歡接觸大自然。與書中的地球人不同,對Baley的曠野恐懼症沒有同感。所以Baley由恐懼「裸陽」到嚮往「裸陽」的轉變,我感覺不大。至於探索太空,人類仍未能移居外星,我也不嚮往。我較喜歡看近未來和反烏托邦小說,不知是否男孩子才會對移居太空有較多想像。 p.s.找到一篇很有趣的文章︰
Which movies get artificial intelligence right?

 
電影Bicentennial Man中的機械人,後來他經過改造,變成人型機械人,由Robin Williams飾演。







又來摘錄︰

➧the huge vaulted chamber of the airport with City corridors leading off on numerous levels, everything else he saw and heard, gave him the feeling of being safely and warmly enclosed in the bowels and womb of the City. It washed away anxiety and only a shower was necessary to complete the job.

➧Baley was losing his fight. Reason alone was not enough. Baley told himself over and over: Men live in the open all their lives. The Spacers do so now. Our ancestors on Earth did it in the past. There is no real harm in wall- lessness. It is only my mind that tells me differently, and it is wrong.

➧But all that did not help. Something above and beyond reason cried out for walls and would have none of space.

➧There was the eye- corner flash of a tall, bronze- haired figure entering; a Spacer, one of those proud descendants of Earth who had disowned their heritage.

“That is pleasant,” said Daneel, nodding gravely. “As you are well aware, it is quite impossible for me, while in working order, to forget you. It is well that I see you again.”

-雖然今集Baley與Daneel的互動較少,他們的關係亦不是此集重點,不過他們之間的感情正逐漸滋長。這部份還是挺好看的。

➧After all, one could not love as a friend this Daneel Olivaw, who was not a man at all, but only a robot.
-Baley在這一集還是這樣想,但到下一集已改變了。

➧The population is deliberately maintained at twenty thousand, that being considered optimum by the Solarians themselves.”
-Solaria人口極少
 
➧“That is not my feeling, Partner Elijah.” “Let me be the judge, Daneel.” “If that is an order, Partner Elijah, I cannot follow it.”

Yet he did want to see out the car. It was becoming an obsession with him. He couldn’t allow this nurse-infant relationship to build up.

-Daneel要遵守機械人第一法則,但對Baley過份保護,簡直當他是小寶寶。有些人會沈溺於這種關係之中,變得過份倚賴機械人。但以Baley的性格,他不會變成這樣的人。

➧Baley felt the impulse to ask Daneel if he were angry at having been outwitted if only to see that perfect face become imperfect, but he repressed it. Of course Daneel would simply answer no, without rancor or annoyance. He would sit there as calm and as grave as ever, unperturbed and imperturbable.
-Baley一方面對Daneel產生感情,一方面阻止自己這樣,故他時常提醒自己Daneel只是機械人。但,機械人是否真的沒有喜怒哀樂?

➧Baley tried to picture a world as a sphere being lit and unlit as it turned. He found it hard to do and felt scornful of the so-superior Spacers who let such an essential thing as time be dictated to them by the vagaries of planetary movements.

➧Again Baley felt annoyance at a world that made itself victim of the coming and going of a sun. It was what came of living on bare planetary surface.

➧“It depends on how seriously you take your chess. Motives can seem all the world to the murderer and completely insignificant to everyone else.
-終於有點查案內容

➧“And if isolation isn’t enough to induce stagnation, there is the matter of their long lives. On Earth, we have a continuous influx of young people who are willing to change because they haven’t had time to grow hard- set in their ways. I suppose there’s some optimum. A life long enough for real accomplishment and short enough to make way for youth at a rate that’s not too slow.
-過份長壽的壞處之一,就是老人家太安於現狀,很難為社會帶來改變。而且他們會長期霸著位置,不讓年輕人上位。照這個說法,地球人的平均壽命剛剛好。



I, Robot裡的機械人



4 則留言:

  1. 看這麽多Asimov,英文好勁!

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    1. Asimov的還可以。 曾經想看William Gibson的Neuromancer, 便覺得英文太深。

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  2. 什麼環境都可以推理,無人島也可以 ~

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    1. 是啊。 單憑證人證詞推理幾十年前發生的案件的情節, 我也看過。

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