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I, Robot (Robot, #0.1)
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Group Reads 2015 > December 2015 Group read - I Robot

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message 1: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo | 1089 comments This is to discuss December 2015 group read I robot by Isaac Asimov.

message 2: by Joel (new)

Joel (juniquex) | 137 comments I don't have I Robot, but I do have "The Complete Robot" which includes the same stories - so I will be reading that.

Buck (spectru) | 895 comments I was once a great Asimov fan, years ago. I read everything he wrote, except that he was writing them faster than I could read them. I've forgotten them all, so now, slowly, little by little, I'm rereading.

I heard I, Robot on CDs in my car back in 2011 or 2012 when I was trying to make a living as a traveling photographer. I still remember the road I was driving while listening to I, Robot. It isn't much like the movie with Will Smith, of course.

I'm afraid I don't remember a lot of the details. I do remember being disappointed that it is a collection of short stories rather than a novel, which, really, is a little odd, since I had always considered Asimov to be better at short stories than novels. His novels, really, are just very long short stories.

The thing I liked most, I think, was the stories that involved robots having to deal with conflicts in the Three Laws of Robotics.

message 4: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4014 comments Mod
I have the The Complete Robot in an old audio. I think I ripped it from cassettes way back when. I also have the paperbacks of I, Robot & Eight Stories from The Rest of the Robots. I don't know just what the differences are between all of them, but I'll probably just read the original I, Robot. It looks like I last read it in 2008, plenty long enough for a lot of the details to have dribbled away. I've read it several times over the years, though.

My memories are mostly about the humorous side of the conflicts with the laws. I loved the unforeseen consequences of strict logic.

message 5: by Ali (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ali alhusainy i'm excited to read it again , because it was one of my first readings into science fiction

Buck (spectru) | 895 comments I've started reading Asimov's The Naked Sun. It's the second in his Robot series which begins with The Caves of Steel. But it really begins with I, Robot.

One of the characters is R. Daneel Olivaw (The R stands for robot) who was introduced in Caves of Steel, and I presume is a recurring character in the rest of the books. Olivaw also is in Prelude to Foundation which ties the Robot series and the Foundation series together.

References to the Three Laws are not uncommon in the story.

message 7: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4014 comments Mod
I started read I, Robot this weekend. It's great. While a short story book, there's an overall narrative gluing it together that I'd forgotten about, an interview of Calvin for her impending retirement.

There's a bit of dated material, mostly inconsequential mentions of tubes & such being used in circuits. The idea that a talking robot would be a big leap is interesting & I liked the bit about legislation which kept them off earth for a while. I'm really impressed by the way he handled religion in "Liar!". It's hilarious & quite thought provoking.

Here's the Table of Contents:
Catch that rabbit
Little lost robot
The evitable conflict.

message 8: by Joel (new)

Joel (juniquex) | 137 comments I'm about 100 pages into The Complete Robot and I'm not too impressed. I quite enjoyed the stories "A Boy's Best Friend" and "True Love", but otherwise I'm not a fan. I'm hoping it will get better.

I haven't come across any of the I Robot stories as of yet. I think they're pretty much in the same order, with one or two exceptions - though I doubt that they're tied together by Dr. Calvin interviews. That's probably something exclusive to the I Robot collection.

message 9: by Buck (last edited Dec 08, 2015 05:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Buck (spectru) | 895 comments Check out this XKCD panel about the Three Laws of Robotics:

message 10: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4014 comments Mod
That's great. Thanks. Just what I expect from xkcd.

message 11: by Joel (new)

Joel (juniquex) | 137 comments 281 pages into The Complete Robot and I'm still finding it to be a bit hit and miss.
I've come across 2 stories from I Robot: Robbie and Runaround. The next three stories (Reason, Catch That Rabbit! and Liar!) are also from I Robot.

I enjoyed Robbie, but expected a bit more from it considering how it's supposed to be one Asimov's best shorts. I didn't really like Runaround at all.
There's no refuting Asimov's significance to the genre, and his ideas are top notch, but I just don't think he's a very good storyteller. He seems to be particularly bad with endings.

There are a couple that I really enjoyed though; namely, Segregationist and The Tercentenary Incident. Neither of these are part of I Robot though.

message 12: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo | 1089 comments I've only read Robbie so far (i'm reading this in French so it's taking me a bit longer to read). It was a really enjoyable, quite a human story for a robot book.

I'm not always a fan of books of short stories so I quite like having the narrative that links them all together.

message 13: by Ali (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ali alhusainy the stories are nice and simple yet the ideas are great for it's time

i really like asimov's short stories for it's simplicity in writing style

message 14: by Joel (last edited Dec 16, 2015 01:42PM) (new)

Joel (juniquex) | 137 comments I finished The Complete Robot earlier today. I posted a very breif summary of my thoughts as well as my rating for each story:

Unfortunately, I think most of my favourites are ones collected outside of I Robot. The ones I favoured from I Robot were Liar!, Evidence and Reason.

message 15: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo | 1089 comments Stories 2-4 (Runaround, Reason and catch the Rabbit) are all quite interesting they are all about robtos not working as expected and how this relates to the three laws of robotics. Runaround introduced the three laws but I wonder if he was using the other stories to test if he could find a way around them.

message 16: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 4014 comments Mod
Has anyone else read The Humanoids and With Folded Hands: Library Edition by Jack Williamson? According to the Wikipedia entry
he didn't write it as an extension of Asimov's 3 laws, but I read it that way, IIRC. Allowing no human to come to harm had disastrous consequences.

message 17: by Leo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Leo | 556 comments Ali wrote: "the stories are nice and simple yet the ideas are great for it's time

i really like asimov's short stories for it's simplicity in writing style"

I agree. I finally read the first 3 stories, simple but entertaining short stories, how can you not like them?
However, maybe 31 short stories - I'm also reading them in The Complete Robot - will be a bit too much.

message 18: by Buck (new) - rated it 3 stars

Buck (spectru) | 895 comments I always thought that Asimov's short stories were generally as good as or better than his novels.

message 19: by Ali (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ali alhusainy @leo

i'm reading the complete robot too , it has 31 of 38 short stories that asimov wrote

that leaves 7 short stories that were not included in the book , i hope to read those 7 soon

message 20: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo | 1089 comments I enjoyed the I Robot stories - i've not got time to read the others at the moment though but I will at some point.

One of the things I liked was the interview with Dr Susan Calvin which bound the stories together which I guess is not included in the complete robot which would be a shame. It's interesting her portrayal as she is shown to be more robtotic than human in some ways. My favourite story was Reason as I liked the concept of the way the robot evolved and his reasoning.

message 21: by Leo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Leo | 556 comments I finished the I Robot stories. I read them in The Complete Robot collection, so without the Susan Calvin interview. Halfway I switched from paper to e-reader - it's a heavy book! I hope to find time to read the rest of the collection, I really like the lightness of the stories. Joel mentioned the bad endings, I can see what you mean. Strange thing for such a famous writer.

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