Elijah Baley is surprised to get a visit from R. Daneel Olivaw—but the visit is professional. Daneel is on a Spacer ship where a quarrel has broken out between to eminent mathematicians, each of whom is accusing the other of plagiarism. Discresion is vital in handling the case, but the captain himself is unable to solve it even with Daneel’s help. Desperate, he agrees to have Baley try to solve it by interviewing the robot servants of the mathematicians involved—questioning them directly is, of course, out of the question.
This is a slight piece written to satisfy the lust of Asimov’s fans for yet more stories involving Baley and Olivaw. He didn’t feel up to doing a novel at this point (having abandoned his original attempt at a third novel) and wouldn’t until The Robots of Dawn. The result is a slight but not unpleasant fluff piece, not nearly the level of quality of The Caves of Steel or The Naked Sun, but not bad, either. It gets a comparatively low rating here largely because it suffers in comparison to its two older and better siblings.
|The Best of Isaac Asimov|
|The Complete Robot|
|The Asimov Chronicles|
|Complete Stories, The, Vol. 2|