Elijah (“Lije”) Baley is a New York City homicide detective a few millennia into the future. His world is an overpopulated Earth with eight billion people living in massive, layered complexes—caves of steel—enclosed by mammoth domes. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York have grown to the point where they are almost touching. Humans no longer know what it is to see natural light (except the elite who live at the top) or experience the feeling of the wind on their back. Even the thought of walking outside their enclosed womb of a city is terrifying and many people like Elijah have agoraphobia.
There are fifty known planets, called Spacer worlds, where colonists have established new societies and have become wealthy due to their low population and abundant supplies, leaving Earth as the runt of the galaxy. The aptly named Spacers are deep intergalactic colonists who have returned to Earth, but their integration back on the home planet has its obstacles, the least of which is their fear of the diseased-riddled Earth since their own worlds are devoid of such maladies.
*Read the rest of my article, 60 YEARS LATER, ASIMOV’S STEEL STRONG, at The Fall Creek Review.