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I, Robot (The Robot Series) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1991
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The stories are tied together via the reminiscences of Dr. Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist for U. S. Robot and Mechanical Men, the corporation that invented and manufactured intelligent robots and computing machines. She reflects upon the evolution of these robots and discusses how little humanity really understands about the artificial intelligence it has created. Each story illuminates a problem encountered when a robot interprets the three fundamental Laws and something goes awry. One robot questions the reason for his existence. Another feels a necessity to lie. Yet another has an ego problem. The later stories introduce the reader to the Machines, powerful computing robots without the typical humanoid personalities of the working robots, that control the economic and industrial processes of the world and that stand between mankind and destruction. These stories introduce some fascinating and sometimes unsettling ideas: where does one draw the fine line between intelligent robot and human? Can man and robot form a balanced relationship? Can a robot's creator reliably predict its behavior based upon its programming? Can logic alone be used to determine what is best for humanity?
"I, Robot" was published in 1950 and includes stories written in the 1940's, when general-purpose electronic digital computers were still in their infancy.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Surprisingly, this was the only book of the robot series I hadn't got around reading when I was younger. It is of course just as well written as all of Mr. Asimov's booksPublished 6 days ago by rirons
This is the original base line for all robot/android science fiction elements and stories that came after. A true reading list must.Published 14 days ago by M Scott Mullane
The product was not as advertised, it did not live up to my expectations nor do I think it was worth what I paid for it. Read morePublished 15 days ago by James Naftzger
The story line is more compelling, more interesting, and has some subtle undertones.
It really does explore the HUMAN mind more than the "positronic brain."
Great book, read it back in the 90's and loved it. If you're a sifi fan and love robots, this is a great book.Published 20 days ago by Jeff Saunders
One of my favorite books, seriously dislike the cover and wish they would go back to a classic cover.Published 1 month ago by Matthew G Ford
I'm amazed Asimov started this book in the 1950's writing Robbie as his first short-story. What follows is a constant shower of amazing stories that keep getting better. Read morePublished 1 month ago by P. A. Wunderlich
I bought all of the Asimov series--and I just can't get into himPublished 1 month ago by Rita J. Goss