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This is the first book of the five-book Robot series. The stories in this book are set at the cusp of interstellar travel. This is the first book in the Robot Series by Isaac Asimov. This is a great collection like Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection by Isaac Asimov, 1995.

Robbie is a great start and deals with the a child becoming inseparable with a nanny robot. Asimov tells the story in a very plausible way. You can relate to the loss of the robot to the loss of a pet.

The Kid Brother short story from Asimov’s other book Gold would be a good addition to this collection. Kid Brother deals with a relationship between a mother and her adopted robot kid.

Its amazing how Asimov portrays the various emotions of the early robots.

What would happen if a robot could read minds? This is the central idea of the story “Liar!”. More than anything, this story shows the dark side of humans with their egos and vengeance.

What if a robot could not make a decision? The stories Runaround and Catch That Rabbit deal with this.

What if a robot becomes religious? This is the gist of the story Reason. It almost felt like a satire on superstition and blind faith. Asimov’s storytelling is great and the robot’s arguments are plausible.

The stories Little Lost Robot and The Evitable Conflict show the dark side of robots. Little Lost Robot deals with a robot’s ego. The Evitable Conflict deals with inconveniences of a few for the greater good of humanity. I am not sure Ayn Rand would accept that view. In her book Atlas Shrugged, 1957, she does not take a kindly view of sacrificial victims.

Evidence is a good story about a robot allegedly impersonating a human. The story deals with how someone goes around proving that they are not a robot. This story is like an incident in the book Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov, 1988. In that story Eto Demerzel needs to prove that he is not a robot.

August 2017