by Isaac Asimov
“The classic collection of robot stories from the master of the genre. One of the Voyager Classics collection, now I, Robot is a major Fox movie starring Will Smith. In these stories Isaac Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics and ushers in the Robot Age. When Earth is ruled by master-machines, when robots often seem more human than mankind, the Three Laws ensure that humans remain superior and the robots are kept in their rightful place. But an insane telepathic robot results from a production error; a robot assembled in space logically deduces its superiority to non-rational humanity; and when machines serve mankind rather than individual humans, the machine’s idea of what is good for society may itself contravene the sacred Three Laws… Amazing and timeless robot stories from the greatest science fiction writer of all time.”
I don’t know why this is so hard for me to review. I always take notes when I read a book, but I’ve got nothing for this one!
I, Robot was my first sci-fi read, and I really enjoyed it. It was a fantastic introduction to the genre for me, and because it’s a collection of short stories I felt like I was getting through big chunks quickly.
I don’t usually read collections like this one, but I think the style worked well for it. The short stories are interrupted by brief intervals, where Robopsychologist Susan Calvin talks to a reporter about her career. That’s what the short stories are – important points in the history of robots working alongside humans, a history she’s played a big part in. Despite this she doesn’t feature in many of the stories herself.
All of the stories revolve around one or more robots malfunctioning, and humans needing to fix them before bad things happen. I’m being vague on purpose here because those things aren’t always people dying. As such, most of the short stories have different main characters, although some of them feature in more than one story and there’s no hero like we’re used to. Controversial, perhaps, but I think it’s really worked well for it and have enjoyed the different style.
Some of the short stories worked better for me than others, but overall I enjoyed them all.
And, of course, this is the book that introduced the world to the Three Laws of Robotics! Asimov has influenced so many people with this book that I already knew the three laws long before reading I, Robot.
As I said above this was the perfect introduction to the genre for me, and I’m excited to read more! It made me smile, it made me think, and most important of all I enjoyed it. It’s also a very short read – my copy only has 249 pages, so if you’re thinking about reading sci-fi but aren’t used to the genre, why not start with one of its Masters?
Have you read I, Robot, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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