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I, Robot

by Isaac Asimov
272 pages, Science Fiction
Reviewed by Grace P

Very enjoyable with some language and implied humanism.

Plot

They cannot harm a human being or, through inaction, cause a human being to come to harm. They must obey all human orders, unless such orders conflict with the first law. And they must protect themselves, unless that conflicts with the first two laws.

What are they? Robots.

A collection of science-fiction short stories, "I, Robot" explores a future where robots and humans work together on Earth and in space.

Morality

Moderate. Harm to humans is always bad. Deception by robots is sometimes seen as bad and sometimes good, depending on whether or not it is harmful. The last couple of stories have a slightly humanistic edge to them.

Spiritual Content

One robot believes himself to be the prophet of a spaceship engine, which he believes to be the Creator and Master of all things. Other than that, not much.

Violence

Humans are in danger in some of the stories, but are always rescued by robots.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None, though some robots are said to act "drunk" when something goes wrong with their brains.

Sexual Content

One woman has a crush on a coworker and wears makeup to gain his attention. Nothing more.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

The words "d*mn" and "h***" are used as expletives fairly often. Other language is inferred, but not written out.

Conclusion

"I, Robot" is a more balanced look at the future than I've seen in most novels. It is neither dystopia nor utopia, but an exploration of what a future with robots might look like. It is entertaining and full of interesting twists regarding the three laws of robotics.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: adult

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