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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robots must follow the rules...
Re-reading "I, Robot" before the movie comes out was a good idea, I'm glad I did. For me, reading Asimov if often a fond trip down memory lane.
But if you have never read Asimov or looking for somewhere to start, I would highly recommend "I, Robot" as a first glimpse into Asimov's world(s). Here is a wonderful and timeless collection of nine...
Published on July 10 2004 by Schtinky

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT a novel
This is a collection of Asimov short stories written over the ten year period between 1940 & 1950, and then collected together, abridged, and given a thin narrative to tie them all together. Read "The Complete Robot" instead.
Published on July 17 2004


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robots must follow the rules..., July 10 2004
By 
This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
Re-reading "I, Robot" before the movie comes out was a good idea, I'm glad I did. For me, reading Asimov if often a fond trip down memory lane.
But if you have never read Asimov or looking for somewhere to start, I would highly recommend "I, Robot" as a first glimpse into Asimov's world(s). Here is a wonderful and timeless collection of nine short stories that all center around a central theme; The Three Laws Of Robotics.
The three laws are: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
These laws are the central theme to each individual story, and connecting them is a running "Runaround", "Reason", and "Catch That Rabbit". Always under the direst of circumstances, they must figure out the malfunction of the robot before something terrible happens. Very entertaining stories.
Some of the other stories are about Dr. Calvin's personal experiences, such as "Liar" and "Little Lost Robot", but all fall back onto the laws as their basic theme, and whether or not humans will ever accept robots among them.
Once finished with "I, Robot", I very highly recommend the "Foundation" series, one of my favorite Asimov themes, along with the Robot Trilogy and another favorite, "Nightfall". Asimov has the gift of creating lively, likeable characters with a technical backdrop to his all-to-human stories, and always infuses a bit of humor into them.
Truly one of the great masters of Sci-Fi, Asimov is a must-read in my opinion, and "I, Robot" is a wonderful starting point.
Enjoy!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Ellis's Review Has It Exactly Backwards, July 18 2004
By 
MICHAEL DARRISH (Acworth, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
With all due respect to Michael Ellis's review warning people that the book in not like the movie, a noble gesture, no doubt meant to be helpful, and that they will be disappointed if they buy the book thinking that they will be similar, he has it exactly backwards.
The book was published in 1950, so the movie is not like the book. The movie states that it is "suggested by Isaac Asimov's book" and has some similarities. To learn more about this outstanding book of short stories, see a good Isaac Asimov oriented web site at [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering the late, great Isaac Asimov..., Oct. 6 2006
By 
Mark Wakely (Lombard, Illinois) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
Isaac Asimov was, of course, a mover and shaker not just in the field of science fiction, but as a science educator for the masses. His prodigious output of books and articles was one of the seven wonders of the modern world, yet it's a relatively small number of short stories and novels for which (I predict) he'll be remembered. Stories like "Nightfall," "Bicentennial Man," and of course his robot stories with their "three laws" will still be read and appreciated for years to come. By showing us how the three laws worked (or sometimes didn't) in these stories, he created a practical foundation for the future of robotics, and Carl Capek aside (who wrote one of the first robot stories, RUR, in 1921) Asimov is considered by many as the father of modern robotics. The Japanese in particular seem fascinated with robots and their potential, so it shouldn't be surprising that Honda named their sophisticated humanoid robot Asimo in his honor.

These stories do show the era in which they were written by the language, but the innovative theories behind them and the "why didn't I think of that?" reaction from readers remain.

-Mark Wakely, author of An Audience for Einstein
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT a novel, July 17 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a collection of Asimov short stories written over the ten year period between 1940 & 1950, and then collected together, abridged, and given a thin narrative to tie them all together. Read "The Complete Robot" instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic sci-fi by the master..., July 13 2004
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Thomas Duff "Duffbert" (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
There are some gaps in my classic sci-fi background, and I filled one of them in today. I finished I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. With the upcoming I, Robot movie with Will Smith, I figured it was about time to read the book before I ruined it by seeing the movie first. :-)
Bottom line, this is top-flight classic science fiction by a master. The book is part of the Robot series, and lays the foundation for the three laws of Robotics. 1) They mustn't harm a human being. 2) They must obey human orders. 3) They must protect their own existence, but only if it does not violate rules one and two. The book is made up of a series of vignettes related to the rise of robots, from safe menial labor to all-knowing logic that runs society. The interplay between the three laws and how they are interpreted definitely makes one think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and fascinating book!, July 12 2004
This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
But, then again, how could it not be considering it was written by a genius such as Isaac Asimov (who once confessed he was capable of writing TWO books at the same time!). Not only does this book set up all our now-accepted concepts regarding robots or androids, but it gave us a very detailed and exciting insight into a future like only a handful of other writers could do: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Rendezvous with Rama", "2001", "2010", "Puppet Masters", "Advent of the Corps", and so forth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it before you see the movie, July 12 2004
This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
I, Robot is actually a group on nine short stories that describe the early history of robots, as developed by the great Isaac Asimov via the guise of an interview with Dr. Susan Calvin, the robopsyhcologist that worked for United States Robotics. The stories are all built around the three laws that robots must follow (which many other reviewers discuss, and so I will refrain from here).
The movies really has little to do with the books, from what the trailers show. The character that Will Smith plays does not exist in any of the short stories. Also, at the time the movie takes place, in the books, robots are not allowed on Earth.
Regardless, understanding the premise of robotics and how and why robots act as they do, will almost certainly be greatly enhanced by your reading of this quick and fun book. Then, you can read some of the other Asimov robot series (Robot Dreams, Caves of Steel, Naked Sun, Robots of Dawn).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Asimov the philosophical predecessor to the Unabomber?, July 10 2004
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B. Tuttle (Lexington, SC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
I am struck that Asimov comes to the exact same point as does Ted Kazinski in his Unabomber's Manifesto. Asimov just says it in a more entertaining way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating take on future with fun dated elements, July 7 2004
By 
John A. Dodds (Ann Arbor, MI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
One must remember while reading this that the book that it was written in the early 1950s. Lots of dated elements along the way (EVERY character smokes, for instance) make it interesting. See how many little ones you can find, like Jakarta referred to by its old name of Batavia, or calculations done on slide rules (!). There are some strikingly prescient elements, though, as when he mentions continuous television coverage of the front door of a politician involved in a controversy with meaningless commentary in the background (how much of THAT kind of thing have we had to put up with from the all-news channels?!).
Putting that aside, this book is a series of short stories about robots as Asimov sees them and how they follow the three "Laws of Robotics" he set up for them. But it's more than that; the stories explore how humans might interact with these machines that can think for themselves--especially when human life is on the line or the robots malfunction or both. Some strain credulity, but this is science fiction so go with it and see where it leads. The ride can be pretty interesting.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand all the fuss, July 3 2004
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This review is from: I, Robot (Mass Market Paperback)
I was bored stiff reading this book. I've been a fan of Asimov's non-fiction works for a long time, but this is the first fiction of his that I've read. I understand that these stories were written in the 1940's, so they will of course be outdated, but they can still be good stories. These aren't good stories. The characters are boring, and they have no depth. It seems like the only emotion human characters have is pretension or anger. The writing style is too sparse for my taste, and all of the pertinent information to the plot is given as asides, which is a mistake that BAD science fiction writers make, not grand masters like Asimov. Besides, most of the stories seem like they are based around stupid ideas or puns. For example, "What if a robot could be drunk?", and then figure out how that could happen and write a little short story around it. Because the stories are written this way, they all seem to fall short of any real meaningful philosophical or psychological discussion of the Laws of Robotics. I've read some of the Robot City and Robots and Aliens books, and they did a better job at that.
Despite all this, I did like two of the stories: "Little Lost Robot" and "Evidence". They still aren't great stories, but they were the only ones that made me stop and think. I also liked the fact that the human characters were not always right all the time. They usually had to try three or four different things to solve the problem. Unfortunately, it was obvious in some cases what they should have done in the first place, which made the humans seem dumb for not immediately seeing it.
Also, even though one of Asimov's main characters was a woman, there is still a lot of obvious misogyny in the book. It can be a distraction sometimes.
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I, Robot
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (Mass Market Paperback - Nov. 1 1991)
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