Amalfi Amadeus hopes that his success with nuclear fusion will enable people to concentrate on the important things in life. But what happens is that consumption becomes compulsory - until someone has the bright idea of getting robots to do the consumption. But even so some individuals still have an overwhelming desire to consume. One story looks at what might become of relationships when people can have whatever material possessions they want. Robots also form an important part of the story, as they become more like humans. Would they want political power? How would they react to unemployment? And most of all, how would they deal with the discrimination they face from humans?
It's interesting to note that although subtitle of the book says it is a novel, the stories within it were actually written over a period of several decades. They do hang together pretty well though. Maybe the storyline is a bit unlikely, but the book does look at some interesting questions, and most important of all its a highly entertaining read.