Thursday, July 16, 2009

I, Robot

We read I, Robot for book club. Its a set of short stories originally published in 1950 by Isaac Asimov, and it represents a couple of "firsts" - husband claims it's the first time the word "Robotics" is used, and, also, Asimov presents his famous "Three Laws of Robotics". Each of the stories explores the three laws - it's really rather brilliant, because Asimov invents these laws, and then proceeds to challenge each one of them. Many of his arguments come down to semantics, for example, as you may know, one of the laws is that a robot may not harm a human - and then tells a story about a robot who causes all sorts of trouble because he's unable to hurt anyone's feelings. Oh ho ho.

Well, if you're looking for a nice intro to some classic sci-fi, I, Robot is a great place to start - everyone in book club agreed that it's very accessible. Our family copy is from The Complete Robot, a collection of all his robot/human short stories published between 1940 and 1976. BTW, if your cover has Will Smith on the front and you're wondering what the stories have to do with the movie - nothing!

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