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I, Robot Paperback – April 29, 2008
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100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime
Unleash your mind with these 100 extraordinary science fiction and fantasy books. Learn more
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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.
From the Inside Flap
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
What he had was great IDEAS, and this book represents a whole slew of them. Beginning with Robbie, the prototype of a Jetsons-style house robot hired to babysit, he traces the use and development of robots, to end with them guiding the world's future.
In these pages, Asimov postulated the Three Laws of Robotics, now required reading for anyone working with robots or AI. Unlike most SF writers of his generation, he didn't see robots as mindless machines, but beings who can think and reason (and even feel emotion). The stories are told by Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist-- someone who specializes in robot minds-- a profession undreamt-of before this book.
Asimov was a product of his time, and 1950s office slang, technology and prejudices often crop up (such as making a red-haired Irishman quick-tempered). He also failed to predict digitalization, resulting in several laughable references to vacuum tubes and the like. But after awhile, you discount these flaws and remember only his brilliant ideas about what's to come.
BTW, the last chapter, with its ideas about mathematically guiding human socioeconomics, is a wonderful lead-in to Asimov's magnum opus, his Foundation series.
The book really sets in place the laws of robotics and drills them into the reader's mind. It will make you think, however, because laws cannot be broken. Circumstances sometimes force the laws to be broken and that's when problems arise. The end of the novel (no spoilers, don't worry!) will really make you think about a lot of things, particularly the dynamic between human and machine and the dependence upon them.
It's a relatively short book and will keep you entertained the entire time. It's got the feeling of classic science fiction and his writing style reminded me a little bit of Richard Matheson, which made me that much more interested. I would recommend this to anybody who saw the terrible Will Smith movie by the same name and wants it to be redeemed.
My chosen order is: I Robot, Nemesis, Caves of steel, Naked sun, Robots of Dawn, Robots and Empire, The stars like dust, The currents of space, Pebble in the sky, Foundation, Foundation and empire, Second foundation, Foundation's edge, Foundation and earth, Prelude to foundation, and Forward the foundation.
The last two prequels so they can be read ahead of the Foundations series to put things in order, but they take some of the mystery and suspense out of the series. If you don 't like guessing and imagining things as you read the stories, then read the prequels first. I'll read them last. After all, Asimov wrote them afterwards.