Just finished Robots of Dawn (Isaac Asimov), spoilers within!

Biiig spoiler follows. If you intend ever to read the book, which I highly reccomend, DO. NOT. READ.
While I felt the intricate logic and seemingly perfect all-possibilities-denied dilema established in the first half of the book, and solved in the final chapter of the book was brilliant*, I couldn’t help thinking afterwards that there is at least one flaw…

[spoiler]What if in his earlier interviews Baley had said to Fastofile… “I accept your assertion that it is not possible for another Auroran to create a Humaniform robot or to know how to disable one, but would it be possible for a sufficiently talented auroran to create a robot that is capable of reading and altering human minds? And that if done so this robot might end up in your posession and eventually gain the knowledge of how to disable a robot from your mind?”

I admit this is an unlikely question for baley to ask, but if Aurorans, particularly Fastolfe, are so intelligent, why did they/he not consider this well before deciding to bring in the earthman?

And now I suspect the short answer is: Because the mind-reading robot in question, as part of his plan, stoped this possibility from presenting itself to fastofile by controling his mind…
but could he do the same to all Aurorans? Surely not. So surely some aurorans could think of it?[/spoiler]

[sub]*It wasn’t until near the end that the quality of Asimov’s writing/thinking became apparent. [/sub]

I thought that book suffered – literally – from Deus Ex Machina syndrome.

Even disregarding that Giscard could suppress that knowledge, Dr. Fastolfe doesn’t know how to build mind reading robots, and Fastolfe is arrogant enough to believe that if he doesn’t know how to do something in the field of robotics, it can’t be done.

Oh, and remember:

Everybody else was willing to take for granted that Fastolfe deactivated the robot. It’s kind of an Ockham’s razor type of thing. A bit of a “Either Dr. Fastolfe destroyed his own robot to keep his political opponents, who are trying to develop one of their own, from getting a hold of it, or else somebody created a telepathic robot, which is a technology we don’t possess, and which found itself in Dr. Fastolfe’s possession and then, without being told to do so, or letting anyone know it was telepathic, took it upon itself to use its telepathic powers to deactivate another one of Dr. Fastolfe’s robots, for no obvious reason.”