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I, Robot (Robot 0.1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  134,895 ratings  ·  2,592 reviews
They mustn't harm a human being, they must obey human orders, and they must protect their own existence...but only so long as that doesn't violate rules one and two. With these Three Laws of Robotics, humanity embarked on a bold new era of evolution that would open up enormous possibilities - and unforeseen risks. For the scientists who invented the earliest robots weren't ...more
Mass Market Paperback, Movie Tie-In Paperback Edition, 272 pages
Published June 2004 by Bantam Spectra (first published 1950)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kevin
Jul 19, 2007 Kevin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi Thinkers
Shelves: scifi
Isaac Asimov's books were far from the normal trash novels you might buy for a 2 day read. Within anything he has written, he tries to spell out lessons in psychology.

How would we react to Robots once they become free thinkers?

How should we react to Robots when they become our slaves?

Should we institute a whole new brand of slavery for the purpose of a "clean society"?

What is sentient life?

The I, Robot novel progresses through these questions, and questions like them, in scenarios rarely ever po
...more
Brooke
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It's a series of short stories revolving around Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist with the company U.S. Robots. The stories show the progression of robots (from ones that can't even talk to the machines that govern how the planet operates) and the relationship humans have with them.

I really enjoyed the overall arc and how it was presented. I also really dug how most of the stories were puzzles abo
...more
Evan
In 1989 I drove to Indianapolis to meet Eric, a collector of rare films, ostensibly to see his 16-millimeter print of the elusive 1926 W.C. Fields movie, So's Your Old Man, of which he claimed there were only a half dozen extant copies. We also screened prints of the Lon Chaney Sr. silent, He Who Gets Slapped and the silent German mountain film classic, The White Hell of Pitz Palu, both of which, at the time, were very difficult to see but which have since been issued on DVD. For good measure, h ...more
Jim
The original "I, Robot" not the movie of the same title, is excellent & is a classic. It set the tone for almost every artificial intelligence novel since it was written. The three laws of robotics first appeared in these stories. There are quite a few stories from humorous to touching to scary. Asimov had a pretty good idea that artificial intelligence was similar to fire - a dangerous servant. He proves it in these pages.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
It's 2057 and a journalist for the Interplanetary Press is interviewing robopsychologist Susan Calvin, just retired. Wanting to get the “human interest” angle, he pries stories from her that reveal the evolution of robotic technology, and the evolution of robots into machines with a higher order of thinking.

The first story is set in 1998, about a non-vocal robot called Robbie who was a nursemaid and best friend to a demanding little girl called Gloria. Her mother finds their relationship unnatur
...more
Amy
I liked the way this collection of short stories were framed as recollections from Dr. Calvin after a long life. The stories progressed from more primitive robots to some advanced enough to be intriguing.

Robbie: A robot serves as a child's playmate and loves to tell stories. In this story, Robbie seems to have as much affection for Gloria as she does for him. This is presumed to be a case of Robbie being compelled to obey the first law of robotics. Can love and affection be distilled down into a
...more
Stephen
Just read this and realized that the first time around I'd never finished it. I'm not sure why.

This book is timeless in many ways. There's a curious mix of future think and past think in this 60 year old science fiction masterpiece. The main ideas concerning robotics are as fresh and current as ever. The space exploration elements are a bit dated but not terribly so. However the corporate think is what feels the most creaky. Also Asimov was a bit off on his predictions about jet cars and the co
...more
Stephen
3.0 to 3.5 stars. A good book to read if interested in the Robot Series, but I liked the actual series better than this collection of short stories.
Manny
Asimov gives you quite a good idea of what's it like to have to debug an artificial intelligence, before there were any. Applause! The movie, however, is an abomination that should have been strangled at birth. They've made Susan Calvin sexy; you see her suggestively outlined through the semi-opaque glass of her shower cubicle.

I can't continue with this review. I'm starting to get too emotional. Sorry. A few things are still sacred, you know?
_____________________________________

PS My real I, Ro
...more
Smarti
This rarely happens to me: I just could not finish this book. I found it unbearable and about half-way through I really did not care about how these stories would continue. In my opinion, it is incredibly poorly written and frankly, I found these robot stories dull and boring content-wise as well. I read that this is supposed to be one of the classics of sci-fi. I don't have a lot of experience with that genre but if this book is supposed to be one of the best, I doubt the genre is for me.
I'll n
...more
Penny
Essentially a series of short stories told in the form of an interview, this book is a classic for a reason. As robots were developed and created for new purposes and problems cropped up that almost always had to do with some unforeseen conflict between the laws of robotics.

There's lots of interesting food for thought, lots of philosophical questions of how laws and rules can be interpreted, and it's all delivered in a fantastic package of wit and character. I particularly enjoyed some of the b
...more
Otis Chandler
Apr 14, 2009 Otis Chandler rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Otis by: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Bookclub
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction
As an engineer I couldn't help but love this book. It's full of logic games! The 3 rules of robotics are a very rich medium for lots of fun puzzles, and I very much enjoyed reading them. I think the book originally came out in serial form, as it was broken down into short stories or capers. Kind of reminded me of Sherlock Holmes - another favorite of mine.

Examining robots also gave a canvas for defining what it is to be human. I loved the robot religion story. Robots with a superiority complexes
...more
Jurgen_i
This is a well-known book of a Golden Age of SF, so I waited something classical and well-done. Unfortunately, it is nothing like that. In fact, this book is a collection of linked stories exploring some unobvious and peculiar consequences of the three rules of Robotics. Good attempt, but no more. These rules are meant to make robots safe for humanity. But if we look at the consequences, the rules don’t seem to be so reliable anymore, even with the Asimov’s assumption, very vague and doubtful on ...more
Megan
In this collection, Isaac Asimov presented nine short stories about robots and humans. I won’t pretend to be well read enough in science fiction to fully appreciate all of the nuances and ideas offered in these nine stories. Along those lines, it might not have been the wisest choice to listen to this audio book while driving too and from work; many times traffic issues or work problems would creep into my mind and demand my attention. That being said, I enjoyed this collection but felt that som ...more
Elida
I am currently reading this book with my son as part of his summer reading list, (new school, therefore he has to do his summer reading during school session) and as I was reading, I discovered that this book is so different from the movie version of I, Robot starting Wil Smith. Usually there are differences between movies and books, but in I, Robot there is are significant differences, such as no mention of Wil Smith's character. My son and I are slightly in the middle of the book so maybe late ...more
Todd Russell
I've read this book a few times over the years and what keeps pulling me back is Asimov's incredible passion for the scientific side of the story. The characters, which normally are the draw, are not front and center in these stories. It's the machines and what will or won't happen to them with the best programming intentions. One would think with Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics that nothing could go wrong and that's part of what makes this so much fun. If you are a fan of the movie with Will Sm ...more
Stefan Yates
This is a collection of inter-related tales bound together by an outer "frame" tale. The stories serve to explain Asimov's three laws of Robotics and some of the problems inherent in trying to apply absolutes to semi-sentient beings. The tales are entertaining, especially the various ways that the characters find to work out their problems by either working with the laws of robotics or finding creative ways to work around them. It also deals philosophically with the idea that a man-made robot if ...more
James
The laws known as the Three Laws of Robotics are as follows:

LAW1 A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

LAW2 A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.

LAW3 A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.

This is in itself the plot of the short stories that make up this collection. There are in all nine
...more
Frank Hays
Time has not treated this book well. As robotics develop further and further w/o any regard to the three laws, it becomes more and more of a series of logic puzzles and less of a work of science fiction. That Asimov feels that humans might one day be better ruled by benevolent AI seems almost quaint and childish w/ a half century of robotics research being directed towards developing new killing machines. It is a fun read and a must for fans of vintage science fiction but it is simply no longer ...more
Jon
Apr 28, 2013 Jon added it
Recommended to Jon by: Sci Fi & Fantasy Book Club April 2009 Selection
Markham Anderson
I am inclined to tear this book apart in a review. I expected better. And yet it gripped me like no book has gripped me for years.

The bad:
Rather than a novel, the book was a collection of short stories which pertained to the same story world. I desired a "novel" experience, one in which the reader is engaged in a single plot for several hundred pages. Several characters surfaced in more than one short story.

Originally published in 1950, it is hardly any surprise that the author's portrait of rob
...more
Tanja Berg
Asimov got it mostly wrong. The future we're living in isn't ruled by robots, at least not the ones he imagined. Sure we have robots - I've even been working supplying spare parts - but they don't have positronic brains. They are programmed, don't resemble human beings in the least and most of all they don't think or have anything resembling a will. At least not the industrial robots, which are the most prolific. We have build robots to fulfill specific functions and not resemble human beings. T ...more
Tanabrus
Ormai è risaputo: non sopporto i racconti.
Perché mi appassiono alle storie, e queste finiscono subito; perché mi lasciano un senso di incompiuto, di non detto; perché se non fatti davvero molto bene, mi risultano incompleti, monchi, non mi prendono.

Ci sono però delle eccezioni.
Lovecraft, per esempio. O Dino Buzzati.
E devo dire che mi è piaciuto davvero molto anche Isaac Asimov, con questi suoi racconti.

Probabilmente perché a parte Robbie, raccolto introduttivo della raccolta e che serve a farci
...more
Suzanne
I really loved this book. In fact, I read it pretty quickly throughout one day. I actually finished in the line at the commissary which has been so ridiculously long lately that I've learned to carry a book along.

I had seen the movie previously but I have learned not to trust a movie version. I was correct in this case. I'm not sure exactly where the movie came from at all. They only similarities that I remember are the 3 robot rules.

So this was actually a collection of short stories. The storie
...more
Loren
From ISawLightningFall.blogspot.com

I first cracked the cover of Asimov’s short-fiction collection I, Robot without much relish. I’ve never enjoyed hard science fiction, a genre whose proponents often seem more interested with the gravitational pull on Mars or the finer points of quantum physics than in crafting an entertaining narrative. Imagine my surprise when I realized I, Robot isn’t SF at all. It’s a collection of mysteries.

From police procedurals to cozies, hardboiled detective stories to
...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally published at FanLit.
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

“..all conflicts are finally evitable. Only the Machines, from now on, are inevitable”

Most science fiction fans know Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics:

Robots must not hurt human beings or allow them to come to harm.
Robots must obey human beings so far as it doesn’t violate Law 1.
Robots must not harm themselves as long as this doesn’t violate Laws 1 and 2.
In I, Robot, Asimov presents nine stories within a frame story that
...more
Anastasia
Il mio primo Asimov è stato una sorpresa. Il primo racconto, Robbie è stata una partenza un po' incerta, una leggera delusione. Banalotto nei sentimenti e nello svolgersi degli eventi. Insomma, la classica madre rigida che si oppone, la figlioletta che come unico amico ha questo simpatico robot Robbie, la separazione a causa delle continue lamentele della madre, e poi l'happy ending. Beh, è stata l'unica nota incerta di tutto il libro. Subito dopo partiamo in quarta, dirigendoci dentro la U.S Ro ...more
Madeline
Because I cannot review a book that's been made into a movie without at least mentioning the film version, here's a fair warning:
Although I, Robot starring Will Smith was a fairly passable excuse for a movie and mostly entertaining if you enjoy explody things, do not pick up Asimov's novel expecting to read anything even remotely similar to what happened in the movie.
That being said, the book version of I, Robot is very, very good, and you should probably read it regardless of whether or not y
...more
JonSnow
Isaac Asimov was an amazing visionary!! This book did not feel like it was written in the 1940's... It's a great collection of linked short stories which only subtly feels dated. There is the occasional time when a certain concept is clearly being used, yet in our time is considered archaic, such as spools of tape for recording audio. I found it easy to buy into the world, to believe in it, to be sucked into it.

The writing style and quality was evocative of pure simplicity, which maintaining a p
...more
Cathy
The stories were written in the 1940s and remain fascinating today. Because the foundation (sorry to be punny) is psychology, human and robot, there is still a lot of validity in the situation and arguments. It's pretty funny to read some of how he envisioned the world would be by now, or to see how common smoking was at that time, but most of it is still as relevant and entertaining as ever.
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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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“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say 'It's as plain as the nose on your face.' But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” 313 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;

The Zeroth Law: A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.”
76 likes
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