Issac Asimov’s I, Robot is a cornerstone of science fiction and even the field of robotics itself. In this literary work and sci-fi classic, Asimov introduces the Three Laws of Robotics. I, Robot is actually a collection of short stories written by Asimov turned into a novel. The stories are take place over a span of 55 years chronicling the evolution of robots and robotics and how society relates to them.
The novel frames itself from the perspective of a journalist speaking with Dr. Susan Calvin, the world’s first great robopsychologist.
The short stories range from adorable and heart-touching, to humorous, to mysterious, and even to sinister. My personal favorite is “Liar!” because it explores robopsychology, the relationship dynamics between the human characters, and Herbie–the robot character featured in the story–is absolutely adorable and terribly tragic.
The stories were some of Asimov’s early work, way back in the Golden Age of Science Fiction. I, Robot originally appeared as a novel in 1950, but the short stories are from the1940s. The writing style is archaic and long at times, but that does not become a serious issue until the last two short stories; they just drag on for far too long. The other short stories usually have rich detail and move along at a brisk, enjoyable pace.
If you want to read some science fiction, like robots, or simply want to read something, I, Robot is a good book to pick up. The short stories are all self contained, so it makes the perfect “pick up and read” novel. It has some good variety, the robots are interesting, and it really is just plain fun.
To read more about I, Robot, click here to visit the Wikipedia page.