History Literature / TheCavesOfSteel

23rd Apr '17 12:33:46 PM Generality
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* ExtremeSpeculativeStratification: Earth is an overpopulated, poor planet with resources running out, and forced to implement PopulationControl, life in megacities, FutureFoodIsArtificial and FantasticCasteSystem in order to survive. It is surrounded by fifty Spacer worlds; wealthy, low population, dozens of robotic servants per person...
9th Apr '17 9:07:17 AM CheeseDogX
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* AuthorAppeal: The crowded underground cities of Earth would be hellish to a claustrophobe, but Asimov was a claustro''phile''. Spending their lives in these Cities has made this condition much more common in the population, and fear of wide open spaces has become the societal norm on Earth.

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* AuthorAppeal: The crowded underground cities of Earth would be hellish to a claustrophobe, but Asimov was a claustro''phile''. He stated that it had never occurred to him that other people might find the closed-in cities undesirable. Spending their lives in these Cities has made this condition much more common in the population, and fear of wide open spaces has become the societal norm on Earth.
29th Mar '17 11:05:54 AM Omeganian
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* WomensMysteries: Baley, who'd grown up without a mother, was ''shocked'' to learn that his wife talks to other women in Personal, the public washroom. For males, the custom is not to even look at other men when using its facilities.

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* WomensMysteries: Baley, who'd grown up without a mother, was ''shocked'' to learn that his wife talks to other women in Personal, the For women, public washroom.Personals are a major socialisation and gossip hotspot. For males, the custom is not to even look at other men when using its facilities.
29th Mar '17 6:00:06 AM Sharlee
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* WomensMysteries: Baley, who'd grown up without a mother, was ''shocked'' to learn that his wife talks to other women in Personal, the public washroom.

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* WomensMysteries: Baley, who'd grown up without a mother, was ''shocked'' to learn that his wife talks to other women in Personal, the public washroom. For males, the custom is not to even look at other men when using its facilities.
29th Mar '17 5:59:12 AM Sharlee
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* WomensMysteries: Baley, who'd grown up without a mother, was ''shocked'' to learn that his wife talks to other women in Personal, the public washroom.
25th Mar '17 9:16:24 AM Sharlee
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** As for animals, children visit the zoo for the privilege of seeing actual, living dogs, cats, and sparrows.
19th Mar '17 9:20:22 AM Sharlee
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* AbandonedArea: The motorways, an underground tunnel-network for vehicles. The introduction of moving pedestrian conveyor-belts made civilian cars obsolete, so the massively-overbuilt system is now used only by police, firefighters, and other high-speed civil transport.
16th Feb '17 2:31:28 PM Troper1138
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** Lije remarks that Dr. Sarton created R. Daneel to his own image. Then he remarks that Daneel doesn't get the reference because the Bible is mot a popular book among Spacers.

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** Lije remarks that Dr. Sarton created R. Daneel to his own image. Then he remarks that Daneel doesn't get the reference because the Bible is mot not a popular book among Spacers.
24th Jan '17 12:15:17 PM JBK405
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''Caves of Steel'' takes place in a future UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. On the overpopulated future Earth, cities are [[MegaCity gigantic metropolises]] [[DomedHometown encased under steel domes]] where people live in cramped conditions and subsist on processed food, never seeing the sky. In contrast, the Spacer worlds, human-colonized planets which severed political ties with Earth long ago, are utopian locales of low population, plentiful resources, massive military power, and economies based on the widescale use of robots for manual labor.

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''Caves of Steel'' takes place in a future UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. On the overpopulated future Earth, cities are [[MegaCity gigantic metropolises]] [[DomedHometown encased under steel domes]] where people live in cramped conditions and subsist on processed food, never seeing the sky. In contrast, the Spacer worlds, human-colonized worlds--human-colonized planets which severed political ties with Earth long ago, are ago--are utopian locales of low population, plentiful resources, massive military power, and economies based on the widescale use of robots for manual labor.



* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Daneel is stronger than Lije, smarter than Lije, and never needs to rest or eat; Lije has to worry about the robot solving the case before him, and every aspect of the robot's superiority is seen as a threat to his job.
* AndroidsAndDetectives: As the UrExample, it established many of the conventions of this trope, despite the lack of many traditional CyberPunk elements (unsurprising, as the book was written before the advent of microcomputers, let alone the Internet).
* ArtificialHuman: Daneel, who is a revolutionary (and controversial), first generation "humaniform" robot. He is designed to pass for human and can even eat (although he does not actually digest the food, just stores it in a sack for later disposal). His personality could use some work though, since the fact that he is TheSpock can be a giveaway that he is not really a human.

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* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Lije is a C-5 Plainclothesman (Detective) with a long history in the department and the respect of his peers, but Daneel is stronger than Lije, smarter than Lije, and never needs to rest or eat; eat. Lije has to worry about the robot solving the case before him, and every aspect of the robot's superiority is seen as a threat to his job.
* AndroidsAndDetectives: As the UrExample, it established many of the conventions of this trope, trope despite the lack of many traditional CyberPunk elements (unsurprising, as the book was written before the advent of microcomputers, let alone the Internet).
elements.
* ArtificialHuman: Daneel, who is a revolutionary (and controversial), controversial) first generation "humaniform" robot. He is designed to pass for human and can even eat (although he does not actually digest the food, just stores it in a sack for later disposal). His personality could use some work though, since the fact that he is TheSpock can be a giveaway that he is not really a human.



** Elijah and his wife Jezebel have {{meaningful name}}s. Their story is referenced when she is introduced, and Jezebel's character is an important part of her personality.

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** Elijah and his wife Jezebel have {{meaningful name}}s. Their The biblical story is referenced when she is introduced, and Jezebel's character is an important part of her personality.



** Lije remarks that Dr. Sarton created R. Daneel to his own image. Then he remarks that Daneel doesn't get the reference because the Bible isn't exactly a popular book among Spacers..

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** Lije remarks that Dr. Sarton created R. Daneel to his own image. Then he remarks that Daneel doesn't get the reference because the Bible isn't exactly is mot a popular book among Spacers..Spacers.



* AuthorAppeal: The crowded underground cities of Earth would be hellish to a claustrophobe, but Asimov was a claustro''phile''. Spending their lives in these Cities has made this condition much more common in the population, in fact, fear of wide open spaces has become the societal norm on Earth.
* BatmanGambit: Several.
** The Spacers (or at least Sarton and Fastolfe's faction) were deliberately trying to destabilize Earth's economy by "encouraging" the use of robots. They wanted to create a large population of unrooted, dissatisfied people who would be willing to become the foundation of a new wave of colonists, avoiding the flaws of both Earth and Spacer societies.
** Daneel was created to be an undercover observer of Earth society to discover the problems in the plan before Sarton's murder. [[spoiler:Repurposing Daneel as a detective was primarily an excuse for him to fulfill his original mission.]]

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* AuthorAppeal: The crowded underground cities of Earth would be hellish to a claustrophobe, but Asimov was a claustro''phile''. Spending their lives in these Cities has made this condition much more common in the population, in fact, and fear of wide open spaces has become the societal norm on Earth.
* BatmanGambit: Several.
**
The Spacers (or at least Sarton and Fastolfe's faction) were deliberately trying to destabilize Earth's economy by "encouraging" the use of robots. They wanted to create a large population of unrooted, dissatisfied people who would be willing to become the foundation of a new wave of colonists, avoiding the flaws of both Earth and Spacer societies.
** Daneel was created to be an undercover observer of Earth society to discover the problems in the plan before Sarton's murder. [[spoiler:Repurposing Daneel as a detective was primarily an excuse for him to fulfill his original mission.]]
societies.



* BornInTheWrongCentury: There are plenty of "medievalists" in the future who long for better days of the Medieval Era, which by this time refers to the Late Twentieth/Early Twenty-First centuries. Most of the people of Earth are medievalists in one fashion or another, usually manifesting itself in some minor personal foible. Elijah himself likes to read a lot about the old days, and Enderby, Lije's boss, uses such bizarrely anachronistic things as windows and eyeglasses.
* CantBatheWithoutAWeapon: Police regulations require Elijah to keep his blaster with him at all times, even in the shower (in a waterproof holster).

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* BornInTheWrongCentury: There are plenty of "medievalists" in the future who long for better days of the Medieval Era, which by this time refers to the Late Twentieth/Early Twenty-First centuries. Most of the people of Earth are medievalists in one fashion or another, usually manifesting itself in some minor personal foible. Elijah himself likes to read a lot about the old days, and Enderby, Lije's boss, uses such bizarrely anachronistic things as windows and eyeglasses.
eyeglasses. There are rumors of more serious subversive organizations that want to dismantle the Cities and return to the earlier ways of life, but Lije does not take them very seriously. [[spoiler:The subversive medievalists really do exist, and in fact were planing some sort of popular uprising in the near future if they could not get their way through political pressure]].
* CantBatheWithoutAWeapon: Police regulations require Elijah to keep his blaster with him at all times, even in the shower (in a waterproof holster). He claims he can still draw and fire it in under five seconds.



* ConceptsAreCheap: Played with. When told that Daneel is programmed with a "justice circuit," Elijah claims this is impossible because justice is too abstract and hard to define. However, Daneel has a much simpler definition of justice, "That which exists when all laws are enforced." [[spoiler:He does develop a more nuanced view by the end of the novel.]]
* CoversAlwaysLie: The depiction of New York City on at least some editions of the novel give the impression of it basically being lots of skyscrapers, with plenty of large open spaces hundreds of feet high and wide, only with an (unseen) roof. That is at odds with the actual description in the novel. It would be difficult to reconcile people suffering from severe agoraphobia if they lived in an indoor city where you could stand on open balconies and look out over a vast cityscape. In the novel simple ''windows'' are a rarity, and most areas have no "outside" to look at beyond their walls anyway.

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* ConceptsAreCheap: Played with. When told that Daneel is programmed with a "justice circuit," Elijah claims this is impossible because justice is too abstract a concept and hard to define. However, Daneel has a much simpler definition of justice, "That which exists when all laws are enforced." [[spoiler:He does develop a more nuanced view by the end of the novel.]]
* CoversAlwaysLie: The depiction of New York City on at least some editions of the novel give the impression of it basically being lots of skyscrapers, with plenty of large open spaces hundreds of feet high and wide, only with an (unseen) roof. That is at odds with the actual description in the novel. It would be difficult to reconcile people suffering from severe agoraphobia if they lived in an indoor city novel, where you could stand on open balconies even the areas 'outside' buildings have walls and look out over a vast cityscape. In the novel simple tunnels and coverings. Even ''windows'' are a rarity, and most areas have no "outside" to look at beyond their walls anyway.rarity.



* CyberPunk: The City [[UnbuiltTrope anticipates]] the dystopian urban landscape of CyberPunk, almost 30 years before ''Film/BladeRunner'' and Creator/WilliamGibson, but it was not necessarily intended to be dystopian. The idea of a vast, totally enclosed city did not bother Asimov at all (See AuthorAppeal).

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* CyberPunk: The City [[UnbuiltTrope anticipates]] the dystopian urban landscape of CyberPunk, almost 30 years before ''Film/BladeRunner'' and Creator/WilliamGibson, but it was not necessarily intended to be dystopian. The idea of a vast, totally enclosed city did not bother Asimov at all (See AuthorAppeal).all, [[AuthorAppeal who would have liked the enclosed spaces]].



* ElvesVersusDwarves: While both human beings, the Spacers and Earthmen share many stereotypes of elves and dwarves, respectively. The Spacers are [[OurElvesAreBetter proud, elegant, long-lived people with superior technology]] while the Earthmen are [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame conservative cave-dwellers]]. The main conflict of the story is between these two factions.

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* ElvesVersusDwarves: While both are human beings, the Spacers and Earthmen share many stereotypes of elves and dwarves, respectively. The Spacers are [[OurElvesAreBetter proud, elegant, long-lived people with superior technology]] while the Earthmen are [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame conservative cave-dwellers]]. The main conflict of the story is between these two factions.



* FantasticRacism: Robots are addressed as "boy," lack permission to travel in the high-class means of transportation and are treated with general contempt by Earth's inhabitants. One of the major bones of contention is that they have come to Earth and are taking jobs away from the local humans. Significantly, R. Sammy may have been named for a racial slur once used to describe people from India.
** There is also the prejudice Spacers have against Earthpeople, although some are better than others about dealing with it.

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* FantasticRacism: FantasticRacism:
**
Robots are addressed as "boy," lack permission to travel in the high-class means of transportation and are treated with general contempt by Earth's inhabitants. One of the major bones of contention is that they have come to Earth and are taking jobs away from the local humans. Significantly, R. Sammy may have been named [[MeaningfulName for a racial slur once used to describe people from India.
India.]]
** There is also the prejudice Spacers have against Earthpeople, although some are better than others about dealing with it.view humans as primitive, disease-ridden savages, and in turn humans resent the Spacers for their long lives, wealth and luxury.
* FlyingDutchman: The legend of the Wandering Londoner is apparently a well-known myth of the era in the style of the Wandering Jew version of the myth: A criminal who tried to find a hiding spot where he planned to wait out the manhunt got lost in the tunnels beneath London, and is still to this day wandering in search of his sanctuary.



* GoAndSinNoMore: Said word-for-word by Daneel to [[spoiler:the police chief.]]
* IronicName: The Spacers. Despite their proud claim to the name and heritage, most Spacers never leave the planets they are born on, even though they live for centuries and have ready access to starships. In fact, they have become so risk-averse and unwilling to tolerate ''any'' discomfort that they are wholly incapable of carrying out further space exploration or colonization. Doctor Fastolfe is fully aware of this problem, and hopes to combine robots with humans from Earth to restart expansion into the galaxy since his own people simply cannot be persuaded to do so themselves.

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* GoAndSinNoMore: Said word-for-word by Daneel to [[spoiler:the police chief.[[spoiler:Commissioner Enderby.]]
* IronicName: The Spacers. Despite their proud claim to the name IronicName: Elijah and heritage, most Spacers never leave the planets they Jezebel are born on, even though they live for centuries and have ready access to starships. In fact, they have become so risk-averse and unwilling to tolerate ''any'' discomfort Biblical figures that they are wholly incapable of carrying out further space exploration or colonization. Doctor Fastolfe is fully aware were vicious enemies, whereas the Elijah and Jezebel (Jessie) of this problem, and hopes to combine robots with humans from Earth to restart expansion into the galaxy since his own people simply cannot be persuaded to do so themselves.story are a HappilyMarried couple.



* LivingLieDetector: Daneel is one, though he is not technically living. His is able to determine, simply by being in the same room, that Commissioner Enderby does not have the capacity to commit premeditated murder, thus eliminating him as a suspect. [[spoiler: Subverted, despite being true, because Enderby DID murder the victim unintentionally, believing his target to be Sarton's doppelganger robot rather than the good doctor himself.]]
* MaleRestroomEtiquette: There is a strict taboo that no one speaks to each other in the Men's Personals. Women's Personals are quite the opposite though.

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* LieDetector: "Cerebroanalysis" is a technique that the Spacers use to gauge mental status and general personality. [[LivingLieDetector As a self-contained unit]], Daneel is able to determine, simply by being in the same room, that Commissioner Enderby does not have the capacity to commit premeditated murder, thus eliminating him as a suspect. [[spoiler: [[DeconstructedTrope Since Enderby had not intended to kill Dr. Sarton, and had actually meant to shoot Daneel, his analysis is both correct in its read of Enderby but wrong in the results]].]]
* LivingLieDetector: Daneel is one, though he is not technically living. His is able to determine, simply by being He can perform "cerebroanalysis" with people in the same room, that Commissioner Enderby does not have the capacity to commit premeditated murder, thus eliminating him as close proximity, a suspect. [[spoiler: Subverted, despite being true, because Enderby DID murder the victim unintentionally, believing his target to be Sarton's doppelganger robot rather than the good doctor himself.]]
technological gauge of mental status.
* MaleRestroomEtiquette: There is a strict taboo that no one speaks to each other in the Men's Personals. Personals, nor look at them or acknowledge each other in any way. Elijah has to make a deliberate effort to force himself to speak while still in the antechamber, and he recalls a time as a child when he was beaten by his uncle after he had stubbed his toe and accidentally cursed aloud. Women's Personals are quite the opposite though.though, and are seen as a social meet-up place.



* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: Robots were created, developed and mass produced right on Earth almost three thousand years before the beginning of the novel, and were integral in the technological revolution that lead to space-travel, food for the whole planet and world peace, but they were never accepted into Earth society and were completely banned from the planet soon after their creation. It is only through the direct intervention of the Spacers, who have completely integrated robots into their way of life, that they are even beginning to merge with the Earthlings.

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* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: Robots were created, developed and mass produced right on Earth almost three thousand years before the beginning of the novel, and novel. They were integral in the technological revolution that lead to space-travel, food for the whole planet and world peace, but they were never accepted into Earth society and were completely banned from the planet soon after their creation. It is only through the direct intervention of the Spacers, who have completely integrated robots into their way of life, that they are even beginning to merge with the Earthlings.



* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: The Spacers have abandoned religion long ago. Lije, meanwhile, can quote Scripture from memory, but exactly how religious he actually is isn't clear.
** Both are probably something of an AuthorAvatar, since Asimov was an atheist, but very well read on the Bible (among many other topics).
* OutOfCharacterAlert: Baley is told that Jessie is associating with unsavory people. He knows it isn't true because she supposedly provided her name as "Jezebel", a name that Jessie avoids using.

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* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: The Spacers have abandoned religion long ago. Lije, meanwhile, can quote Scripture from memory, but exactly how religious he actually is isn't clear.
**
clear. Both are probably something of an AuthorAvatar, since Asimov was an atheist, but raised Jewish and was very well read on the Bible (among many other topics).
* OutOfCharacterAlert: Baley is told that Jessie is associating with unsavory people. He knows it isn't true because she supposedly provided her full name as "Jezebel", a name that Jessie avoids using.



* PopulationControl: Earth's enormous population is only barely managed, and the quality of life, while not terrible, isn't very appealing. It is shown that producing enough food to feed the population is an ongoing challenge where even small missteps can result in starvation.

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* PopulationControl: PopulationControl:
**
Earth's enormous population is only barely managed, and the quality of life, while not terrible, isn't very appealing. It is shown that producing enough food to feed the population is an ongoing challenge where even small missteps can result in starvation.



* SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids: Averted; at one point Jessie worries that Daneel is listening in on their conversation. Elijah says that any unusual abilities would hamper Daneel's ability to pass as human.

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* SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids: Averted; at one point Jessie worries that Daneel is listening in on their conversation. Elijah says that any unusual abilities would hamper Daneel's ability to pass as human.human, but internally he admits that this is mainly conjecture on his part.



* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Understanding that the conflict even ''exists'', much less wrestling with it, is a big part of R. Daneel's CharacterDevelopment. See Concepts Are Cheap, above. Early on, Daneel considers the phrase "an unjust law" to be an oxymoron -- justice is the enforcement of the Law, therefore a law cannot possibly be unjust.

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* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Understanding that the conflict even ''exists'', much less wrestling with it, is a big part of R. Daneel's CharacterDevelopment. See Concepts Are Cheap, above.ConceptsAreCheap, above, with respect to his views on "justice". Early on, Daneel considers the phrase "an unjust law" to be an oxymoron -- justice is the enforcement of the Law, therefore a law cannot possibly be unjust.



* WanderingJew: The legend of the Wandering Londoner appears to be the equivalent for Baley.
21st Dec '16 5:21:25 PM TrisJones
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* EarlyInstallmentCharacterDesignDifference: In this first book, Daneel's eyes are brown; in ''Literature/TheNakedSun'', his eyes are blue.
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