I, Robot


Author: Isaac Asimov

Title: I, Robot

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 1977, c1950

Number of Pages: 192

Geographical Setting: Various locations on earth and in space

Time Period: 1996-2057

Series: 1st title in the Robot Series

Plot Summary: After 50 years as a “robopsychologist” Dr. Susan Calvin is about to retire and is being interviewed about her life’s work. Her comments frame the nine funny and thought provoking stories about robots and how they think and work. There are three laws of robotics built into every robot that cannot be broken. Robots cannot harm or allow harm to come to humans, robots must obey humans unless that would break the first rule, and robots must protect themselves unless that would break the first or second rule. Most of the stories involve figuring out problem situations that involve these rules including a robot who thinks he is a prophet, one who can read minds, and one who is a practical joker.  The last few stories are more serious and deal with whether or not man can handle these machines he has created.

Subject Headings: Robots –Fiction. Science fiction, American.

Appeal: compelling, engrossing, lifelike robots, multiple points of view, intriguing characters, episodic, flashbacks, issue-oriented, plot twists, thought-provoking, futuristic, humorous, psychological, thoughtful, classic, concise, jargon, journalistic, plot-centered, open-ended

3 Terms that best describe this book: humorous, episodic, thought-provoking

Relevant Fiction Titles

Man vs. Machine edited by Martin Harry Greenberg – A short story collection by various authors that explores the use of artificial intelligence. This is for fans of science fiction short story collections looking to branch out beyond just robots.

Echelon by Josh Conviser – This is a full length novel that explores the use of a global surveillance project to control the world’s information that ends up going terribly wrong. This is for readers interested in futurist efforts to maintain peace, an idea that Asimov touched on in his stories.

The Cold Equation and Other Stories by Tom Godwin – This title includes both short stories and a full length novel for those readers who cannot decide which they would rather read. The collection deals with survival and colonization in relation to aliens.

Relevant Non-Fiction Titles

Robots in Space: Technology, Evolution, and Interplanetary Travel by Roger Launius and Howard McCurdy – These authors detail what is happening now in terms of space travel and the use of robots, for those readers who need a dose of reality.

How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself against the Coming Rebellion by Daniel Wilson – Obviously these robots don’t live by the three laws of robotics. This title is for those readers looking for another humorous take on robots.

Love and Sex with Robots: the Evolution of Human-Robot Relations by David Levy – Levy feels that relationships between humans and robots are inevitable. This title is for readers who especially enjoyed Asimov’s short story “Evidence” that revolved around the question of whether or not a mayoral candidate was in fact a robot, and for those readers who enjoyed the various life-like personalities of the other robots featured in I, Robot.

Name: Elizabeth


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