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Literature & Fiction

I, Robot (Vintage Signet S1282) - Isaac Asimov

I, Robot (Vintage Signet S1282)

Author: Isaac Asimov
Book title: I, Robot (Vintage Signet S1282)
ISBN: 0451012828
ISBN13: 978-0451012821
Publisher: New American Library; 1st Paperback edition (March 3, 1956)
Language: English
Category: Genre Fiction
Rating: 4.6/5
Votes: 107
More formats: docx mobi lrf lrf

Fawcett, 1970. Mass market paperback. Classic robot stories from the master, Isaac Asimov. Includes: Robbie (1940); Runaround (1942); Reason (1941); Catch That Rabbit (1944); Liar! (1941); Little Lost Robot (1947); Escape! (1945); Evidence (1946); The Evitable Conflict (1950).
Reviews: (7)
JoJoshura
Isaac Asimov was NOT a great writer--you won't see anyone praising his brilliant style, his character arcs, or his thrilling action scenes. (90 percent of the action in his books is limited to a conversation between two people in a room.)
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.
Kigul
I've slowly been reading all the classic sci-fi books and this is my most recent. It was fun to read Asimov's description of machine learning from the 40s/50s. To be clear - I am not a sci-fi nut, an engineer, or a robot fanatic; but the stories are just plain fun and easy to read even for an uneducated person like me. The stories progress through the development of robots as told to a journalist by an elderly roboticist/executive. I give huge kudos to Asimov for making the roboticist a female. Granted, she's a psychologist rather than an engineer (math's hard for girls) but at least he made her a female and she ends up saving the day in a few of the stories. I'm giving it a 4 star rather than a 5 star because I got a little weary of all the scientists ("roboticists") being sarcastic and nasty to each other. I was left with the feeling that none of them really liked each other. Also - the writing is just OK. It is certainly no Dickens but fun to read no matter your age or gender. And as we head into a world of more and more AI, this book definitely gives food for thought.
Tall
I really enjoyed reading this. From the start, I was impressed because the book was written in 1950 but the main character, Susan Calvin was born in 1982. She graduated from Columbia in 2003. Essentially, what I'm getting at is that the majority of the novel takes place in years that are a reality to many of us alive now. He may not have accurately predicted the future completely, but living in and seeing the differences is something that I love.

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.
Xirmiu
This is one of his very early works. The style of writing is a bit childish and raw and sometimes annoying (compared to Nemesis which is well written) but the stories are good. A must read book if you want to do the entire series. This is where I started the series. Nemesis is my second. I have done a lot of research to come up with the most logical sequence of reading Asimov's books.
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.
Cherry The Countess
The book is composed so that each chapter is a new short story. All connected by the theme that this is a future earth (with robots) and these stories are being told by Dr. Calvin who is being interviewed. This format doesn't distract from the actual stories so it's easy to read.
Each short story was a demonstration of how robots were becoming integrated into the human community as well as all the paradoxes faced by the "Three Laws of Robotics."

As for the book itself, it arrived one days after ordered. It came well packaged and undamaged.
Iriar
There are so many antiquated, quaint and just plain wrong details in this book that one easily become exasperated and fail to notice that each section deals sequentially, logically and beautifully with the Laws of Robotics and their logical complications. So Asimov’s wonderful work - in mid-century wording and far off the mark in demographics and syntax - actually is a brilliant philosophical discourse. The first time I read it, as a kid, of course I missed that completely. The dialogue did not then strike me as dated nor the use of ‘boy’ to refer to robots in one of the stories as horribly bigoted. Nonetheless I, Robot stands as a testimony to Isaac Asimov as a brilliant architect and observer of where we came from, where we are, and where we may be going.
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