I, Robot

Introduction

I, Robot is a collection of nine science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov. The stories originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between 1940 and 1950 and were then compiled into a book for stand-alone publication by Gnome Press in 1950, in an initial edition of 5,000 copies. The stories are woven together by a framing narrative in which the fictional Dr. Susan Calvin tells each story to a reporter (who serves as the narrator) in the 21st century. Although the stories can be read separately, they share a theme of the interaction of humans, robots, and morality, and when combined they tell a larger story of Asimov's fictional history of robotics.

Several of the stories feature the character of Dr. 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 Three Laws of Robotics first appear. Other characters that appear in these short stories are Powell and Donovan, a field-testing team which locates flaws in USRMM's prototype models.

The collection shares a title with the 1939 short story "I, Robot" by Eando Binder (pseudonym of Earl and Otto Binder), but is not connected to it. Asimov had wanted to call his collection Mind and Iron, and initially objected when the publisher made the title the same as Binder's.


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