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I, Robot
By Isaac Asimov

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I, Robot
By Isaac Asimov
ISIS Large Print, 2005
ISBN: 0-7531-7465-0
Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - January 16, 2006

I, Robot is a collection of short stories by the prolific writer, Isaac Asimov. All the stories in this collection are unified by a common theme - mans interaction with intelligent robots and by the presence of Susan Calvin, a robot psychologist. There are ten stories in this collection, and it is in this book that Asimov promulgates The Three Laws of Robotics that have become a mainstay within the science fiction genre. The main point of these laws is that robots cannot injure a human, or allow a human to come to harm.

The ten short stories in this collection are: I, Robot is a classic of Science Fiction literature, which provides a range of stories about robots and unlike the recent movie of the same name, does not concentrate on only one story angle. In the movie, the story revolves around the robot Sonny, who is the main suspect in the murder of human - something which is impossible according to The Three Laws of Robotics. In the movie, the actor Will Smith plays a cop bent upon proving Sonny's guilt. He is fearful that if the rules can be broken, it is only a matter of time before the humans are subjugated by an army of robots bent on world domination. Basically the movie has little relationship to the book, and unlike the single focus of the movie, this book offers readers ten related yet independent, compact, thought-provoking, and throughly entertaining stories. These stories will make you think about what makes a man a man, and at what point does a programed intelligence cross over into the realm of being considered a living with rights. After all, if you think about it, man is nothing more than an organic life form controlled by a personal computer that we call the brain. In addition, with this book, Asimov makes you question the wisdom of over relying upon technology and the long term consequences that such reliance might have for the human race.

In the course of these stories you will discover that robots are eerily similar to the humans who have become overly dependent upon them. There are stories of dysfunctional robots, humourous stories, robots who aspire to political office, and stories about the first robots, as well as stories about the most advanced versions that threaten to make humans obsolete. Although consisting of a series of short stories, when read in sequence, you will come away with the feeling that you've read a book rather than a series of disjointed stories. A meld of science fiction and science fact, I, Robot is an intriguing collection of stories and one that provides a solid foundation upon which to understand and appreciate Asimov's vast repertoire of robot-centric books and stories.

I, Robot can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of ISIS Large Print.

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