Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: I, Robot

Purchase I, Robot here.


The three laws of Robotics:
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 givein to 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.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.

(from the hardcover edition)


This book manages to set up intriguing stories that stand as brilliant logical puzzles on their own, then seamlessly weaves them together into one overarching tale commenting on technology, culture, and human nature as a whole.  Each story on its own presents a different case that challenges the Three Laws in a unique, innovative way, with unexpected solutions.  Asimov asks readers to reconsider what we consider human nature, as well as to challenge our preconceived notions of robotics.  The stories are interesting and challenging, but their episodic nature makes the book a quick read.  This was my first foray into Asimov's writing style, and I will definitely be coming back for more.

Until next time, happy reading!

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