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This blog is an extension of our book groups which we welcome you to attend on the first Tuesday of each month.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

Asimov’s ‘I, Robot’ was my first conscious foray as a reader into the realm of Science Fiction, and was also his first robot novel. The title will probably be familiar to you from the1994 movie of the same name. The novel is actually a collection of short stories and has very little to do with the movie, and in fact the end credits state that the film was merely ‘Suggested by Isaac Asimov’s book’.
Whether you have seen the movie or not, you will more than likely be familiar with Asimov’s ‘Three Laws of Robotics’. 
      LAW I. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
      LAW II. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
      LAW III. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
These laws form the basis of the collected short stories and lay a solid foundation for a world roughly a thousand years into the future. As you can probably guess the stories centre on the creation of, manipulation of and interaction with robots. But these robots are extremely advanced, and of course with such advanced technology a myriad of things can (and do) go wrong.
I found this an exceptionally easy book to read, and devoured it in a couple of days. I’ve always been concerned that Science Fiction novels would be too complicated and technical, and boring, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that simply wasn’t the case, even when the stories required complex mathematical formulations. ‘I, Robot’ is the first novel in Asimov’s ‘Robot Series’. It is followed by ‘The Caves of Steel’, ‘The Naked Sun’ and ‘The Robots of Dawn’, all of which are also great books. I am definitely a fan.
Emma J. James

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