The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories
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The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  6,263 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Cover Illustration: Don Dixon
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 12th 1981 by Ballantine (first published 1976)
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Rowan MacBean
Prior to reading this book, I'd only ever read one Asimov work. It was the short story version of Nightfall and I very much enjoyed it, but I still didn't consider myself an Asimov fan because I knew him as "the robot/space-opera guy" and I've never particularly enjoyed robots or space-opera sci-fi.

As it turns out, it seems I only don't particularly enjoy robots and space-opera sci-fi when it's not written by Asimov. This book contains twelve pieces (eleven short stories and a poem) and there wa...more
Karyshma Khan
"The Three Laws of Robotics:
1. A robot may not injure may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given 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." (Asimov 491).

Robots are made for the purpose of serving humans and following their orders. From the start, Andrew Martin was...more
Claire Gilligan
Isaac Asimov is now my favorite author, period. I would say I devoured this book, but that implies that I failed to give each short story the post-reading consideration it deserved, which is entirely untrue.

Every sing story was of such enormous quality--writing style, characterization, plot. I simply do not have the vocabulary to convey how well-crafted and enjoyable every story was.

Asimov's introductions, giving each story its context, were the icing on the cake. So, so good! Immediately search...more
fatemeh kashefi
The Story is about LOVE, You can't believe how can Love & feelings change the lives even the life of a robot,
I read this book when I was at high school but sometime ago, I saw the movie of this story which Robbin Williams played the character of that robot(I forgot the name) & I was really impressed.
I recommend you to read the book & see the movie, You'll enjoy it for sure.


Nicolas
This was the first of Isaac Asimov's writings that I have read. I liked it. As with any collection like this there were some I liked (Waterclap) and some I didn't (Stranger in Paradise). The title story, Bicentennial Man, was definitely the stand-out. This was a very enjoyable collection and has made me curious to read more Asimov.
Sam Whitehouse
I'm no huge fan of Assimov, though i know he's a legendary, brilliant science fiction writer. I watched the movie Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams and was curious as to what the book would be like. It's short, and i'm not a fan of short stories, but Assimov's writing is rich and clean and he's clearly a master of sci-fi. The length of the story didn't hinder the character development, and although there was never what could be called pace to the story, it was entertaining and absorbing enoug...more
Fiver
Half-rate Hollywood reproductions aside, this short story is one of the staples of great science fiction... that simply had to be written, sooner or later.

The Bicentennial Man is a very simple, almost droll story: in the near future, a robot finds itself instilled with the urge to become human, and lives through 200 years of slight modifications to himself while following this goal.

I've always said that good science fiction uses the unusual situations to comment on the human condition, and I cou...more
James
Dec 11, 2007 James rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Asimov Fans
I read this collection because there were stories in it that were not included with “The Complete Robot” I will only be touching on the stories not included in “I, Robot” or “The Complete Robot”

The Prime of Life
Is a Poem about how everyone thinks he is old, yet he feels young. It is just pretty neat to read as it gives you some insight into the man himself and, is in its own way quite humorous.

Waterclap
A neat story about the conflicts between people who live in Inner and Outer Space, this shows...more
Migdalia
What made this so enjoyable was the author's commentary, which added great insight into his character and imagination. It also provided insight into the world of writing and publishing.

The stories themselves are - of course - well written and very entertaining. The other nice thing is that most were truly short (about 10-15 pp); so, if you're pressed for time, you can finish a story in between activities. On the other hand, if you have time to spare, the stories fly, and you feel like you got a...more
Leonardo
Feb 27, 2014 Leonardo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of classic sci-fi
Recommended to Leonardo by: Lorena
Among Asimov's vast work, his robot fiction is perhaps the most renowned, and several of the stories included in this classic anthology of the short stories that he wrote between 1966 and 1976 are a definitive prove of it. Several of them explore the complexities and intricacies of the real-world application of the three laws of robotics and the mistrut that human beings would feel towards robots, particularly when they "deviate" from their role as mere servants and machines and reason their way...more
Amy
I just finished reading the novella The Bicentennial Man. After spending several weeks absorbing research about Asimov and robot stories, this one stands out among the rest. It is very poignant. It is definitely one of his best robot stories.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
Arthur C. Clarke said that science fiction done well at the least can give the pleasure of a "good puzzle" and entertain. Asimov is always science fiction done well, and this collection is no exception. I don't think Asimov has a strong prose style, and his characters are rarely memorable. But in the best stories by him I've read, such as "The Dead Past" or "Nightfall" he can stun me by making me see the world in a whole new way.

I don't think any of the stories here are of that order--with the...more
Luke Devenish
It's not every day that sci-fi can make you teary, but the title story in this anthology got me blubbing beautifully. It is exquisite. And yes, I've seen the movie, which I also liked, but this, the original, is so much more affecting for the emotional punch of robot Andrew's two hundred year journey and the sheer, sob-worthy beauty of its ending - which the filmed version foolishly eschewed. Crazy! It would have been far better for being truthful to Azimov's idea. This story was just so sublime...more
Pvw
A typical one-idea novel.

Andrew the household robot discovers his creativity in crafting woodwork and making jewelry. From then on, he strives to become more and more human, both by upgrading his positronic brain and fighting legal battles to obtain human-like rights. The family that employed him at first keeps supporting Andrew in his desire (even though he survives all of them, because he himself becomes 200 years old).

This book reminded me very much of Max Ehrlich's The Big Eye because it was...more
Caiti
I want to love Asimov, but I still just can't get totally on board with sci-fi. I have yet to finish this book, clocking in at 7 out of 11 stories. Following are my synopses and thoughts for each of the 7:
1) The Prime of Life - A self-portrait of a poem with a smart, witty commentary.

2) Feminine Intuition - a fascinating little story about a "woman" robot and the power of an intuitive mind. Quite humorous.

3) Waterclap - The safety of Ocean-Deep is compromised. This short, though I'd say not one...more
Malcolmaffleck
Having never read any of Asimov's work before, I was interested to see what one of the greats of Science Fiction was all about. In many ways, these stories have made me more interested in reading his longer form novels - he clearly has an excellent idea of what happens in his vision of the future (although some points, particularly with regards to views on women contain clear remnants of 60s/70s thinking) and has some major characters that I think deserve more exploring than the few brief mentio...more
Carlos Mendez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Dalton
This is a good book, which was probably even better when the stories were still "fresh". The writing style is somewhat simplistic, and the various "twists" that occur in some of the stories are quite obvious. But perhaps that wouldn't be true decades ago, when they were first written.

"Bicentennial Man" is, in my opinion, the best story in the collection, and I think Mr. Asimov agrees. Still, the prefaces to each tale are interesting, and you get a nice, unencumbered view into Asimov's thought pr...more
Sophia
It’s never easy to review short story collections because they can be so very mixed, and this was no exception. By far the best (and fortunately also the longest) was the title story. The Bicentennial Man is the story of a robot who, by some quirk of his mechanical brain, develops a personality. Over the course of the story, which spans 200 years, he learns to feel emotion and begins to question his role as a mankind’s slave and to desire something that’s unprecedented among robots – freedom. It...more
Christophe

Andrew est un robot comme les autres. Comme les autres, vraiment? Pas tout à fait. Il est même si singulier qu'il a décidé de devenir libre, malgré les Trois Lois de la Robotique et contre l'opinion de la majorité des êtres humains. Andrew ne sait pas qu'il vient de s'engager dans une lutte qui va changer l'histoire de la robotique, des robots et de l'humanité elle-même.

« L'homme bicentenaire » est l'une des nouvelles les plus connues et l'une des préférées de l'auteur. Elle a été adaptée au c

...more
Michael Tildsley
This was kind of "middle of the road" for Asimov. Sort of a hit-or-miss collection. There were stories that I liked a lot, stories that I liked a little, and stories that were bad (sorry, Isaac).

I feel like Asimov's true area of fiction talent is in novels and novellas, not short stories. While some are passable, my big gripe with his short stories as a group is that they tend to be bogged down in explaining the "hard science" of whatever the topic in question is to the point that the character...more
Kenneth Rathburn
It's rather clear that this book by Isaac Asimov will strike some as fascinating and others as unrealistically off-putting. But part of what makes this book captivating for readers such as myself is simply the journey a future household robot makes to gain acceptance as a human and truly feel. While it's not masterpiece quality (partly due to its lack of plausibility), this doesn't interfere with the ultimate point and, generally, the delivery of what Asimov is trying to make. Andrew becomes a c...more
Cecily Robertson
As someone who is not really a fan of science fiction (save Adams), I didn't really enjoy the stories in this book. In fact, I only read a few before skipping to the one I really wanted to read--Bicentennial Man. The introductions written by Asimov before each story were in themselves highly amusing! If he had written his actual work in the same voice I would have liked them a lot better. Bicentennial Man was the best story I read, but even so, I didn't feel like it was as good as the movie. Sad...more
Suhas Rao
It is really sad that I have to give only one review for this collection. Except 2 , all stories were average. The exceptions being "Bicentennial man" and "That thou art mindful of him" , both worthy of 5 stars and more.Bicentennial man explores what it truly means to be human and Andrews evolution into it. Notable line(paraphrased) "You were the sesquicentennial robot but now you are the bicentennial man". Same is true of "That thou art mindful of him", little lesser known , explores the darker...more
Phillip
I really don't read much science fiction (outside Star Trek/Doctor Who). But I really feel like I've read solid sci-fi whenever I get my hands on some Asimov. I really enjoyed these short stories, and I certainly recommend them for anyone interested in robots and/or solid sci-fi!
Cat Tobin
I think The Bicentennial Man is one of my favourite short stories - brings a tear to my eye every time.
Alba
"Creo que sólo alguien que desea la libertad puede ser libre. Yo deseo la libertad"

A mi parecer esa frase lo dice todo. ¿Qué es un hombre sino un esclavo de su propia piel? ¿Un hombre es un hombre porque lo dice o porque sabe que es un hombre? Y si no quiere ser un hombre, ¿entonces qué?
Isaac Asimov ha logrado algo que mis maestros no pueden lograr: que me cuestione a mi misma. Y gracias a eso llegue a la conclusión de lo que es un hombre. Un hombre es sus propias decisiones. Decidir que comer,...more
Paul
La verdad es que son reflexiones interesantes sobre el futuro y, a veces, el pasado.
Luzali
despacito despacit pero ya lo terminé
me gustó, no soy super fan de la ciencia ficción pero estos cuentos me gustaron
ya nada más faltan 16 libros para mi reto de este año
Erika Nelson
So this book is a collection of stories, which makes it hard to rate overall. Some stories were boring so I didn't really read them, while others, such as the title story, were amazing, thought-provoking and terribly entertaining. Asimov is truly a master of his craft. Between the stories in this book, Asimov tells little stories about how each piece came to be, how it was commissioned, his interactions with his editors, and stuff like that. This made it really fun, because I felt like he was of...more
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te...more
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Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)

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“There is no right to deny freedom to any object with a mind advanced enough to grasp the concept and desire the state.” 12 likes
“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 the orders given 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.”
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