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I, Robot Paperback – April 29, 2008
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In this collection, one of the great classics of science fiction, Asimov set out the principles of robot behavior that we know as the Three Laws of Robotics. Here are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world, all told with Asimov's trademark dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
`Isaac Asimov was one of the great explainers of the age...It will never be known how many practicing scientists today, in how many countries, owe their initial inspiration to a book, article, or short story by Isaac Asimov'Carl Sagan `Asimov displayed one of the most dynamic imaginations in science fiction'Daily Telegraph `Asimov's career was one of the most formidable in science fiction'The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The classic primary book of the series written by the man who, literally, coined the term "robotics," and invented the absolutely brilliant "3 laws of robotics." From the "Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.":
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 the 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 Laws.
and eventually, the zeroth law:
0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
(yes, the three laws of robotics consists of ... four laws!)
I guess there is a point to make for reading it (or even re-reading it) in 2016 - we're talking about robots today, in our real-lives, in our near future. We're talking about sentience and capabilities and concerns on their independence and impact they'll have on our lives - it's amazing how much Asimov truly anticipated how it'd develop and put out a lot of the concerns and questions to consider. It is a timely read of the topic.
This is Isaac Asimov's masterpiece, and is notably not quite like the movie.
The story is laid out chronologically and covers numerous different perspectives as robotic technology progresses. The use of perspective was very professionally done, and that alone is something that would cause me to recommend this book.
However, there's even more depth to this book. Asimov was a thinker, considering what an age of robots would be like, and his Laws of Robotics are still considered today by top robotics scientists. While this book is specifically about the examples in which that those laws were broken, it is an interesting starting point for a study into intelligent robotic deisgn. Don't let that discourage you, though! This book isn't dry and boring - it's full of human experience and story.
I read this book in order to fill in an important gap in my reading the great science fiction novels, particularly of the 20th Century. I'd read Dune, Ender's Game, The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Asimov's own Foundation books, among others, but I had somehow never gotten to this one. I'm so glad I finally tackled it, as it is thought-provoking, funny, insightful, and downright enjoyable. The three laws of robotics are a brilliant construction, but it's particularly cool that the stories all flow from the problems they cause: the contradictions, the nuances of meaning, the far-reaching consequences. In our age of smart phones and tablets, etc., I wouldn't say robots have taken over our real lives, but some concerns that I, Robot anticipates really seem more prescient than ever.
Some classic novels seem dry these days, but those novels I mentioned earlier hold up incredibly well. I, Robot is absolutely deservedly in that group. It's an astonishing book, and I'd advise anyone who likes good writing to read it, whether you consider yourself a science fiction fan or not.