Friday, November 11, 2005

I, Robot

Author: Issac Asimov

Category: Fantasy/ Science Fiction

Summary: Asimov sets out the principles of robot behavior that we know as the Three Laws of Robotics. Here are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world, all told with Asimov's trademark dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction.


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At 9:32 PM, Blogger npoleondnamiteismyhero said...


I didn’t hate I, Robot, but it was probably my least favorite of the three that I read. Many of the concepts are interesting, but it was frustrating to just read mini-stories instead of one long one that the movie portrays. The characters were likable, and there were times when I was just as frustrated as they were, and I did like trying to think of solutions for each problem.
The research was difficult because Asimov actually wrote a lot of different stories and compiled them into I, Robot. Most of the criticisms briefly summarize the stories and how they came to be. A criticism site I definitely recommend is Enotes. They do have actual criticisms of the novel itself and great analysis (you do have to pay for access though).
Connecting science fiction books is usually a fairly simple task; most of them contain the same general ideas. I, Robot was easy to make connections with, but getting them down on paper with quotes was much more difficult. Each chapter had an overall lesson about the nature of robots, so it was hard to find specific quotes because you can’t quote an entire chapter. The next problem is that these concepts are formulated based on how the reader interprets them, and because it’s so hard to find quotes, this is a difficult book to work into papers. Themes in this book are definitely how machine is more perfect than man, but we don’t want the perfect leader, and that humans do ultimately have the power to lead, even though robots are perfect.
There are not any controversial issues in this novel that I can think of; it’s just about man and his machine. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes books that are written in a collection of miniature stories combined for an overall message. Also anyone who enjoys technology or ponders about what life could be like with robots should definitely read this novel.

At 9:40 PM, Blogger npoleondnamiteismyhero said...

*this is the science fiction genre*

At 8:40 PM, Blogger simonl said...

This is a great book. But I have one warning: THis book IS NOT like the movie! Don't expect any violence or vicious robots.

The book is a succession of loosely connected short stories that chronicle the evolution of futuristic robots. The interpretation is open because Asimov never makes a judgement of technology and textual evidence and critical can be found supporting both the affirmative and negative. THe reader has to ultimately make his or her own conclusion. Also, the use of the THree Laws raises questions about the limitations of human reason and morality. The language is very simple. THe book relies more on straightforward yet procative logic. I, Robot is a brief introduction to the paradox and controversy of simple logic. Romantics and illogical thinkers probably would not get as much out of this book. This book pairs well with most other science fiction books and literary criticism is aplenty(Hint: try looking for individual short stories rather than the book if you have trouble finding criticism).


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