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I, Robot
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I, Robot

I, Robot is a collection of science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov, first published in 1950. Although working well enough as standalone stories, they share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots and morality, and put together tell a larger story of Asimov's fictional history of robotics.

Several of the stories feature the character of Dr. Susan Calvin, chief robopsychologist at U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc., the major manufacturer of robots. Upon their publication in this collection, Asimov wrote a framing sequence presenting the stories as Calvin's reminiscences during an interview with her about her life's work, chiefly concerned with aberrant behaviour of robots, and the use of 'robopsychology' to sort them out.

The book also contains the short story in which Asimov's famous Three Laws of Robotics first appear. Other characters that appear in these short stories are Powell and Donovan.

The title was applied earlier to a short story by Eando (Earl and Otto) Binder. Asimov originally titled his collection Mind and Iron, and initially objected when the publisher changed the title.

Followed by:
Robot Series
Foundation Series
The Complete Robot

Table of contents
1 I, Robot
2 I, Robot on screen
3 I, Robot: The Game
4 External link

I, Robot

To you, a robot is just a robot. But you haven't worked with them. You don't know them. They're a cleaner, better breed than we are.

When Earth is ruled by master-machines... when robots are more human than humankind.

Isaac Asimov's unforgettable, spine-chilling vision of the future - available at last in its first paperback edition.

-Cover blurb from the paperback edition of I, Robot, and largely inaccurate to boot. The first paragraph is a quotation of one of the book's characters, Dr Susan Calvin, but the rest reads rather like the copy of an editor who hadn't actually read the book. At the time of publication, robots were depicted in science fiction as either servile machines or evil creations that revolted in the manner of Frankenstein. Asimov himself said that in writing the Robot stories he sought to replace both views with something more rational.


ISBN numbers

I, Robot on screen

In the 1960s, two short stories from this collection were made into episodes of the television series Out of the Unknown: "The Prophet" (1967), based on "Reason"; and "Liar" (1969).

The 1960s science fiction anthology series The Outer Limits had an episode called "I, Robot" (the 1990s revival of the series includes a remake of the episode, with the same title); it is based on the Eando Binder story, and has no connection to Asimov's book.

In the late 1970s, Warner Brothers acquired the option to make a film based on the book, but no screenplay was ever accepted. The most notable attempt was one by Harlan Ellison, who collaborated with Asimov himself to create a version which captured the spirit of the original. Asimov is quoted as saying that this screenplay would lead to "the first really adult, complex, worthwhile science fiction movie ever made." Although the film was never made, the script eventually appeared in book form under the title I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay, in 1994 (reprinted 2004, ISBN 0743486595).

More recently, a movie of the same name (see I, Robot (movie)) loosely based on Asimov's book, and starring Will Smith, was released by Twentieth Century Fox on July 16th, 2004 in the United States.

A 1977 album by the Alan Parsons Project was also inspired by Asimov's I Robot, after which it is named.

I, Robot: The Game

I, Robot was an arcade game made by Atari and released in 1983. It was the first commercial video game with filled 3-D polygonal graphics and featured flat shading. It also had very innovative gameplay, featuring a "game" mode and an "ungame" mode where one draws with the objects in the game by leaving trails. The game has no relation to the book of the same name.

External link