2017年2月19日 星期日

越來越奇: 阿西莫夫的《曙光中的機器人》(The Robots of Dawn)

"curiouser and curiouser"這句來自《愛麗絲夢遊仙境》的話,可用來形容阿西莫夫這個機械人系列。

繼上次偵破Solorist星殺人事件後,警探Baley在《曙光中的機器人》(The Robots of Dawn)中再次出動;今次查的,是「謀殺」機械人事件。在人形機械人Daneel的家鄉Aurora星發生。


上集的Solarist美女Gladia在今集繼續出現。為什麼?因為她移民去了Aururo星!需要愛情的她在Solaria得不到滿足,聽Baley勸告移居到這個人口較多的星球。在這裡,她可與人接觸,可享有愛情和自在地享受性愛,但Aurora星的人是Solaria人的相反,對愛情和性都看得隨便。他們享有性愛自由,但他們不懂得愛。Gladia還是念念不忘
Baley。但Baley住在地球,有妻兒,又比他短命幾倍,大家註定不能在一起。寂寞之下,她將感情寄託在繼Daniel後另一個人型機械人身上。諷刺的是,她這個「第二任丈夫」也被
殺了。Baley便是獲派來查此案的。

不過這本書的主旨,依然是關於地球人殖民外星的願景。
地球人殖民外星需要機械人幫忙,但懂得設計和製造機械人的專家都在外星,故此地球人一定要得到外星的支持才能實現這個夢想。外星最頂級的機械人專家是
Aurora星的Han Fastolfe(即Daniel程式設計者),他認為地球人與Spacers是平等的,地球人有權殖民外星。但Aurora星卻有很多人反對,包括另一機械人專家Kelden Amadiro。他歧視地球人,怕地球人在外太空「繁殖過多」,奪去Spacers的資源。沒有Amadiro支持的話,Fastolfe無法大量生產機械人; 但沒有Fastolfe的話,Amadiro無法製作高質素的機械人(Spacers也想殖民外星啊)。因此,Amadiro聯同其他機械人學者開設機械人學研究所,希望不用靠Fastolfe也能成事。

此書還有一位要角—同樣由 Fastolfe設計的Giskard。他不是人型機械人,但他與Daneel一般聰敏。因Aurora人不喜歡地球人,而地球人殖民外星這事,對Aurora人是個威脅,有人想對付Baley,所以他此行有危險。Giskard和Daneel便受 Fastolfe命保護他。

這本書的篇幅比上一本《裸陽》長很多,追看性仍是及不上第一本強,但也算保持懸疑。而且我很欣賞作者能詳細描述外星的景物。室外景觀是怎樣的,機械人研究學員是怎樣的,汔車是怎樣的,甚至智能廁所是怎樣的,作者都寫得細緻。我好像跟Baley到了外星似的。


今次的其他角色亦有趣,包括Fastolfe那個冷酷的女兒,愛上Gladia的形像設計師,以及自負的Amadiro。有趣的是,他令Baley和兩個機
械人進行了一次大逃亡。

在今集,Baley與Daneel的感情更好了,大家都稱對方是好朋友,兩個都願意為對方犧牲。

至於最奇特是哪部份?就是謎底。不過我不能在此透露吧!

節錄內容︰

I know. But what I want to say, Dad, is that I appreciate you. And this time when you come back, you’ll get that from everybody and not just from me.” Baley felt himself melting. He nodded rapidly, put a hand on his son’s shoulder, and muttered, “Thanks. Take care of yourself—and your mother—while I’m gone.”
﹣上一次Baley 多望幾眼Gladia,都覺得自己對妻子不住。今次他連內疚感也沒有了。在外太空,他亦不曾想起妻子。好像連作者都拋棄這個角色了。兒子倒是有出場。

Every effort to assure that precautions had been taken also assured him that those precautions were thought necessary.
Fastolfe的小心翼翼,令Baley更擔心自己的安危。

Baley liked to think he was no coward, but he was on a strange planet, with no way of telling friend from enemy, with no way of taking comfort in anything familiar (except, of course, Daneel). At crucial moments, he thought with a shiver, he would be without enclosure to warm him and to give him relief.

He had never experienced anything like it. It was as though taste buds had suddenly been invented and inserted in his tongue.
﹣未來的地球人吃的大部份是人造食物,Baley在外星才得嘗很多食物的真味道。不過最有趣的,還是Solaria的特色美食。

~Yet Baley found himself unable to avoid thinking of the Women’s Personals on Earth where, as Jessie had frequently told him, women chattered incessantly and felt no discomfort about it. Why women, but not men? Baley had never thought seriously about it before, but had accepted it merely as custom—as unbreakable custom—but if women, why not men?

~She might be Solarian, but given the proper circumstances she sounded exactly like an Earth-woman. He suspected that this would be true of Aurorans as well. There are some things that differences in culture don’t touch.
﹣作者是否想說,「女人就是女人」?

The general public has its own priorities and is more interested in the next meal, the next hyperwave show, the next space-soccer contest than in the next century and the next millennium. Still, the general public will be as glad to accept my plans, as are the intellectually minded who already know. Those who object will not be numerous enough to matter.”


“Are you well, sir?” asked Giskard. It was a foolish question, dictated by the programming of the robot, thought Baley, though, at that, it was no worse than the questions asked by human beings, sometimes with wild inappropriateness, out of the programming of etiquette.


For the first time in his life, Baley found himself envying a robot. Imagine being able to walk through that; to be indifferent to water, to sight, to sound; to be able to ignore surroundings and to have a pseudo-life that was absolutely courageous; to know no fear of pain or of death, because there was no pain or death. And yet to be incapable of originality of thought, to be incapable of unpredictable leaps of intuition—


They will swarm over the new worlds at any cost, multiplying like insects, and will preempt the Galaxy even while we are making a bare beginning. To offer Earth a supposedly equal chance at the Galaxy is to give them the Galaxy—and that is not equality. Earthpeople must be confined to Earth.”

6 則留言:

  1. 竟然沒有人留言,很意外呢 ~

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    1. 都正常嘅, 我寫果本書應該冇咩blog友睇過呢。
      好想月尾前寫多篇, 但最近工作好忙。

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  2. 見到性愛那段,忽然想起洋腸派對。。。
    天氣忽冷忽熱,忙工作之餘要照顧好身體啊!

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    1. 洋腸派對係咪好「色」? :D
      謝謝栗妹關心,我連續返咗四個星期六工,返到想嘔,剛剛先恢復少少精力。
      係啊,要照顧好身體,剛買咗幾種生果,補充下維他命C。

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    2. 不好意思,我也有類似的聯想,幸好不止我一個人(暗爽中)。

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    3. 哈哈!! 我未睇過套戲, 唔明添。

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