I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

He is credited with coining the word “robotics”.  This is the first ever volume of robot stories that Asimov wrote. For SF afficionados, Asimov’s formulation of the Three Laws of Robotics is practically canon.  The Three Laws, famously, are

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

And now this well-loved volume is available in audio format.  My contention with this cd was the cover, which misleadingly uses Will Smith in the lead role of a movie which is a spin-off loosely based on one of Asimov’s robot stories. In fact, I thought I was picking up the audio version of the movie. The original dustjacket illustration is presented here on the left, and on the right is the cover on the paperback edition. 

The stories themselves were vaguely familiar. The problem was that I had read many other robot stories in Asimov’s collections and several anthologies, and I seemed to remember different endings to some stories. In some cases, I was sure that other stories were supposed to be included here, which weren’t.

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4 Responses to “I, Robot by Isaac Asimov”

  1. The movie itself was not too bad, but I can’t imagine it being close to the book. I remember reading a collection of Asimov’s science fiction stories (the best of). Try it if you haven’t already.

  2. @ Parth:

    The movie version that we finally see is not connected to Asimov. The movie version comes from a pre-Asimov, 1939 classic SF short story, “I, Robot” by Eando Binder. They say that the Asimov collection was named I, Robot by its publisher against Asimov’s wishes. Some of Asimov’s ideas about robots were added to the screenplay after the film’s producers acquired the rights to the anthology title, although the plot is not directly based on any particular story or group of stories by Asimov. The only direct connection to his work is the use of the Three Laws of Robotics. However, after Asimov created the laws they proved so popular with other writers that Asimov publicly gave permission to all writers to use them.

  3. I have read the Complete Stories of Isaac Asimov, volumes I and II. Am not aware if there are more volumes.

  4. I read the Complete Robot when I was 16. Took it out of the school library and finished it all in a week! 🙂 So needless to say, I was highly disappointed with the movie, which I was expecting to feature more “logic games” involving robots and Susan Calvin. Instead it turned out to be Enemy of the State… with Robots!

    Nocturne, have you read the Foundation series by Asimov? Definitive SF series, and had quite a hand in getting me interested in politics and social sciences.

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