Thursday, May 11, 2017

"I, Robot" by Isaac Asimov

I'm quite sure I've read this before, back in my twenties, but the only story I remembered at all was "Robbie."  That makes sense, though, as it has a Cinderella thing going on, and I love Cinderella.

I, Robot is a collection of 9 short stories concerning robots, written by Isaac Asimov and originally published as short stories from 1940 to 1950, according to Wikipedia.  They're strung together with a loose framing device of a narrator interviewing Dr. Susan Calvin about the early days of robotics.  I got this from the library because I was having my niece read "Robbie" for her ninth grade lit course and I needed to reread it myself so we could discuss it.  And I decided to just reread the whole thing because I really couldn't remember it.

My favorite story is still "Robbie," about a robotic nanny devoted to its childish charge, so much so that the girl's mother becomes jealous and demands the robot be removed from the household.  

I also really liked "Liar," in which a robot who can read minds obeys the First Law of Robotics (no robot can cause harm to a human, or allow harm to come to them by inaction) in a creative and disastrous way.

In fact, I noticed that my enjoyment of the stories in this collection was directly related to the amount of human emotion involved.  The more the story involved humans emotionally engaged with each other or robots in some way, the more it interested me.  And the stories that were more science-oriented, I just read through without much real enthusiasm.  They were interesting, but they didn't grab me.  I'm pretty intrigued by this insight into my reading, as I hadn't realized before that the emotional engagement of characters mattered that much to me -- I'm going to have to ponder this!

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG for some mild bad language and suspenseful situations.



This is my fourth book read and reviewed for Adventure of Reading Challenge, and my ninth for my second go-round with the Classics Club.



8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great read! I'm gonna be on the lookout for this now! So, out of curiosity, is one of the stories the plot of the movie I, Robot?

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    1. Sarah, it's a great read, and since Asimov is the guy who created the Three Laws of Robotics that so many sci-fi authors have adopted.

      None of these stories is the plot of the movie I, Robot. That's why I know I've read this before -- I know I read it after seeing the movie. They do have some character names in common, and some plot points here and there, but that's about it.

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  2. How intriguing! I am always on the lookout for more good Sci-fi, and this sounds like an awesome bit of sci-fi. :)

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    1. Evangeline, Asimov is one of the greatest -- and earliest -- sci-fi writers. My husband likes him better than I do, but I do enjoy his stories now and then. Your library should have this, as it's famous.

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  3. Hi!! I was wondering if you would like to participate in an upcoming book blog tour. My friend Sarah Holman has a new release coming up in her 'Tales of Taelis' series and she's looking for new bloggers to participate in this tour.

    If you're interested, you can take a look at some of my reviews of the previous books, on my blog: http://inthebookcase.blogspot.com/search?q=tales+of+taelis

    And if you decide you'd like to take part in the next blog tour, sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe4Hc-rj3f84uHMzzW_Pvb01nU4I9ZXvMCVsz5V6S5Lub8Spw/viewform

    Blessings,
    Tarissa

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    1. Hi, Tarissa! Sorry I haven't replied to this earlier -- didn't see it until just now. Huh. Anyway, I will check out those links :-) Thanks for thinking of me!

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  4. Robbie will always be my favorite too!

    How cool that you were rereading it to help your niece! What a fun experience!

    By the way, I tagged you, again. You definitely don't have to if you don't want to! :)
    http://moviesmeetmatch.blogspot.com/2017/05/100-books-bbc-think-most-people-havent.html

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    1. MovieCritic, it has been such a joy to teach her lit and writing for a year. We're planning to do this next year too (she's homeschooled, but neither of her parents are very lit-inclined), and we're going to read "Lord of the Rings" together -- her first time!!! I can't wait.

      Thanks for the tag :-) I'll check it out!

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