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The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov
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A collection of Isaac Asimov's short stories about Robots. ( )
  JoBass | Oct 7, 2017 |
[ai:Isaac Asimov|16667|Isaac Asimov|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1341965730p2/16667.jpg]A really enjoyable work of Sci-Fi full of short stories author Isaac Asimov wrote over several decades dealing with all kinds of robots in various situations. Many of the stories delightfully puzzle-through various aspects, twists-and-turns and challenges, of the Three Laws of Robotics. The historical time-span Asimov employs reveals how he could imaginatively peer into the future and project technological and social developments, which is true as an over-arching theme in many of his authored works, as if he had this centuries-long frame into which he painted his stories across the canvas of time, space, and the galaxy. The interplay of the social life of humans and that of robots, as the Life they share intertwines, reveals the forces of logic and emotional passion and whimsical social trends, and how they can conflict, distort, challenge, and not always get along very well -- at all. The book is enjoyable reading for anyone interested in, to turn a phrase, 'Human Life, The Universe, and Everything Robotic'. ( )
  Dagoba42 | Sep 8, 2017 |
I read "I, Robot" nearly 40 years ago and "The Rest of the Robots" a little later. Odd that I still have a memory of the order of the stories, which was changed for this collection. Dated (obviously) and surprising limited in vision, it's clear Asimov was writing to sell stories to the pulp mags, so his tone reflected part Damon Runyon, part...I don't know who would be a contemporary author bent on attaching details relevant to the time but that would not stand the test of time (dollar figures, misogynistic attitudes). That's not to say I didn't enjoy the book, but I've always struggled with his robot stories since I outgrew my Lester del Rey days of pre- and early teens. I've never been able to read any of his robot novels, but I am determined this time, for they are in the Foundation story arc that I will read this year. ( )
1 vote Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Pulled from the shelf almost at whim, in a moment I craved an indulgence read. It fit the bill. Many of the stories were familiar if only half-remembered, meeting my need for a sentimental re-acquaintance, but a good many I'd never read before.

I've somehow been left with an idea of Asimov being quaint and juvenile, even for a genre writer: wooden characters, uncomplicated plots. There is something to that, but I was pleased that mostly it is a caricature of his work. His ideas and plots are quite good, often go somewhere unexpected, and there is an emotional depth to his situations and the interactions between characters, if not in his prose. A story involving autism is a conspicuous (and not saccharine) example.

Not all these stories fit the same universe, though many do and this accounts for their later inclusion in his Foundation canon. His Three Laws of Robotics are frequently cited, unsurprisingly, though often to be teased out or twisted or put into some extreme situation to see if they'll crack. There are other commonalities between the tales: most posit a general suspicion of robots, centred on danger posed by them, and the stories often explore the ignorance and superstition behind this fear. (One explores the uncanny valley and design principles employed to avoid it.) In most stories, Asimov posits that robots cannot be used on Earth, but only off world, until that place (satellite, planet, space station) becomes sufficiently populated so as to be another Earth.

Also prevalent are dated perspectives, not only with the obvious technologies not anticipated (interface with AI via tickertape, analog not digital photographs) but more significantly with social mores. Susan Calvin addresses an adult robot as "boy", two hooligans essentially set out to lynch a robot. Which is to say, plus ça change ....

Children are often featured, highlighting relationships between human and robot which are based in something other than fear.

In affinithy with many Golden Age writers, Asimov writes about robots as a way of reflecting humanity, of writing about humans. It's not that he hasn't done the work to understand his robots, in fact there's quite a bit there (witness, that Calvin is a robopsychologist rather than AI logician or even forensic engineer). But Asimov doesn't focus on the robot so much as how people interact with (react to) the robot.

It seems Asimov added some connecting elements, or revised certain details of stories for better continuity. It is most suggestive in the Powell and Donovan stories. Unlike some omnibus editions, Asimov's robot stories make for a satisfying read overall, collected in this way. ( )
1 vote elenchus | Apr 10, 2017 |
2006 Review:
collection of his robot short stories. Easy reading.

2001 Review:
funny, silly, serious, touching, thot provoking-short stories ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isaac Asimovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kannosto, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, DomingoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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By the time I was in my late teens and already a hardened science fiction reader, I had read many robot stories and found that they fell into two classes.
Mr Anderson said, ‘Where's Jimmy, dear?’
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586057242, Mass Market Paperback)

The complete collection of Isaac Asimov's classic Robot stories. In these stories, Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics and ushers in the Robot Age - when Earth is ruled by master-machines and when robots are more human than mankind. The Complete Robot is the ultimate collection of timeless, amazing and amusing robot stories from the greatest science fiction writer of all time, offering golden insights into robot thought processes. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics were programmed into real computers thirty years ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - with suprising results. Readers of today still have many surprises in store...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:07 -0400)

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"A complete collection of "Robot" stories from Isaac Asimov." Provided by publisher.

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