"Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything. We can't talk about science, because our knowledge of it is limited and unofficial, and usually our fiction is dreadful."
The humans on Aerlith have little technology, having been stranded there and cut off from whatever remains of human civilization in the galaxy. Some artifacts remain, however; is it a crystal ball or a planetarium?
Using this device, Joaz Banbeck (the novel's protagonist) is able to predict that the Basics, a race of aliens with superior technology, might soon be paying them a visit.
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'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'
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'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'
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'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'
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