I'm a definitely a fan of Asimov -- his creativity and prolificness is so impressive. The Robot and Foundation series' are certainly my favorites. I received The Gods Themselves from a bookseller I'd bought a collection of Hemingway's journalism from. He threw in a paperback of The Gods Themselves along with a couple other gifts (thanks @kayoulerarebooks!). I'd never heard of the novel, but the cover of the version he sent proclaims that it received "Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year Award" and, according to the back cover, the Philadelphia Bulletin declared it to be "A tour de force unlike anything Asimov has done before...The Gods Themselves is definitive science fiction...well worth reading," and according to Wikipedia it was Asimov's favorite sci fi novel. So I picked it up.

It's a page-turner if you are a science fiction fan. But it's also weird. The novel has three sections and the middle section tells us about aliens from another universe (a para-Universe) who need a three-way relationship to reproduce, the relationship consisting of a Rational, an Emotional, and a Parent which are, essentially, three different species. There's lots of alien sex that Asimov somehow was able to make a bit erotic (amazing!), and also a fair amount of thought put into what the human mating tendencies might be for a human population living on the moon, including the effects of low gravity on the aesthetics of the human body. It was hilarious! (Though perhaps that wasn't Asimov's intent...)

Along with the very fun creativity and what I would imaging were basically thought experiments about para-Universes, alien sex and reproduction, and lunar living, there's a very hard science component to the novel that explores the consequences of inter-universe nuclear physics, of which I could follow to a degree, but was a bit over my head. Nonetheless, the plot progressed well enough to keep it a page turner.

I found the alien sex and lunar semi-nudity in The Gods Themselves to slow the story down a little too much, but overall it was a fun read that was refreshingly creative and out of the ordinary. It's a fast, relatively easy read (if you're into the science side of it) and probably a good gift for someone interested in world-creation type fiction, hard science fiction, any Asimov fan, and, of course, aspiring writers wondering how to write about three-way alien reproduction (or just creative writing students...).