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Asimov's I, Robot

A book by Isaac Asimov

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Robots must follow the rules...

  • Nov 17, 2008
  • by
Re-reading "I, Robot" before the movie comes out was a good idea, I'm glad I did. For me, reading Asimov if often a fond trip down memory lane.

But if you have never read Asimov or looking for somewhere to start, I would highly recommend "I, Robot" as a first glimpse into Asimov's world(s). Here is a wonderful and timeless collection of nine short stories that all center around a central theme; The Three Laws Of Robotics.

The three laws are: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

These laws are the central theme to each individual story, and connecting them is a running "Runaround", "Reason", and "Catch That Rabbit". Always under the direst of circumstances, they must figure out the malfunction of the robot before something terrible happens. Very entertaining stories.

Some of the other stories are about Dr. Calvin's personal experiences, such as "Liar" and "Little Lost Robot", but all fall back onto the laws as their basic theme, and whether or not humans will ever accept robots among them.

Once finished with "I, Robot", I very highly recommend the "Foundation" series, one of my favorite Asimov themes, along with the Robot Trilogy and another favorite, "Nightfall". Asimov has the gift of creating lively, likeable characters with a technical backdrop to his all-to-human stories, and always infuses a bit of humor into them.

Truly one of the great masters of Sci-Fi, Asimov is a must-read in my opinion, and "I, Robot" is a wonderful starting point.

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

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March 26, 2009
I love the stories of "I, Robot"--a little dated, but creative. And, as QUEENBFLIX noted, the people a bit mechanical--very few interesting women characters in Asimov. You should note also that these stories are nothing at all like the movie! There was one scene that may have been inspired by a story of a robot hiding with other robots...other than that, the similarities were negligible.
January 26, 2009
Scotman, did you know there was a film version of NIGHTFALL too? It wasn't very good. I had it for awhile on VHS but I sold it when I made the big move up north.
January 25, 2009
I always found Asimov a bit dry. I remember someone on a panel at a science fiction convention saying that Asimov's robots were very human but his his humans were very mechanical. To each his own.
More I, Robot reviews
review by . February 19, 2011
posted in SF Signal
   Isaac Asimov's I, Robot is a collection of short stories that explores Dr. A's development  of the three laws of robotics (now the 4 laws).      Each of the stories was originally published in Astounding Science Fiction during the 1940s and each is a logic puzzle.      The settings for the stories range from a middle class family's home to the barren and harsh surfaces of various planets in the solar system.  Each presents …
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
Actually this is a group of weak short stories whose only redeeming wuality is that they are somewhat novel.
Quick Tip by . July 05, 2010
very good, quite different from the film
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
This is NOT the movie, in any way! This collection of "robot stories" explores ways in which humans and self-thinking robots might interact, in the most unexpected ways. How can you tell if a robot is lying? Can a robot feel? What does it mean for a robot to die? Fascinating fodder for Asimov's agile mind.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
This book is so much different from the movie carrying the same title, but is just as interesting
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Amazing book. One of my favorites.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
A wonderful collection of stories that looks at Asimov's ideas of the development and implementation of advanced robotics in the future. The movie by the same name only shares the name in common, this book is so much better than that was.
review by . November 02, 2006
Few books have defined a genre of pop culture as well as this short classic by Isaac Asimov. This book is a collection of several stories, all of which are set in the near future when written by I. Asimov in 1950. By reading the stories from front cover to back cover, we see the evolution of human - robot relationships both at a personal level, and on a societal level at large. In all the stories, the relationship is defined by three laws. But the constraints of these laws can cause robot behavior …
review by . August 17, 2004
I, ROBOT is a collection of nine short stories revolving around Susan Calvin, the world's first robopsychologist. The premise of the book is that after spending almost six decades working with U.S. Robots, Susan Calvin is on the verge of retirement. A reporter has been assigned to write an article about Calvin for the Interplanetary Press and he seeks her out to flush out the biographical information he already has about her. What follows are nine separate tales about robots who didn't respond and …
review by . March 22, 2004
While rereading this book, I was struck at how prescient Asimov was concerning computers and the mysteries of their apparent anomalous behavior. As a computer programmer, I see many similarities between debugging software and the intricacies of robopsychology. Dr. Susan Calvin, the preeminent expert in the psychology of the robot brain, is the stereotypical computer geek. She was largely humorous, unattractive and had no romantic life, so Asimov predicted what we now see as the typical computer …
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About this book


The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
2) A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.

From the Hardcover edition.
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ISBN-10: 0553294385 (MM pbk., movie tie-in ed.)
ISBN-13: 9780553294385 (MM pbk., movie tie-in ed.)
Author: Isaac Asimov
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anthology
Publisher: Spectra; Mti edition (November 1, 1991)
Date Published: November 1, 1991
Format: Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages, Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
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