FROM ROBBIE TO R. DANEEL OLIVAW—
Here, from the writer whose name is synonymous with robots and the science of robotics, are five decades of robot visions gathered together in one volume. These 36 landmark short stories and essays include three never before collected stories: “Too Bad,” “Christmas Without Rodney,” and “Robot Visions,” which was created specifically for this book. And you will meet all of Isaac Asimov’s technological children from Robbie, the very first robot that Asimov’s imagination brought to life, to Susan Calfin, the original robot psychologist, Stephen Byerley, the humanoid robot, and the famous human/robot detective team of Lije Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw, the stars of so many best-selling novels. Let the master himself be your guide as you explore the key moments in the fictional history of robot-human relations—from the most primitive computers and mobile machines to the first robot to become a man. And you will see these “robot visions” skillfully captured in illustrations by Academy Award-winner Ralph McQuarrie, production designer of Star Wars.
This is an anthology rather like Robot Dreams, consisting of various miscellaneous robot- or computer-related writings by Asimov.
It’s a fairly miscellaneous lot. It basically consists of two kinds of stories: First of all, we have most of the really good robot stories written over the years, including all but the two weakest stories from I, Robot (namely “Catch That Rabbit” and “Escape!”), and most of the really good robot stories from later years, including “Galley Slave,” “Lenny,” “Mirror Image,” and “The Bicentennial Man”). Secondly, we have a bunch of robot stories which aren’t all that good but which hadn’t been collected before: “Too Bad!” and “Christmas Without Rodney,” for example. The rest of the stories tend to vary between the two.
The net result is a generally solid collection of some top-notch material, flavored with a pinch too much of more bottom-notch stories, decidedly a mixed bag.
|“Robbie” aka “Strange Playfellow”|
|“Little Lost Robot”|
|“The Evitable Conflict”|
|“The Bicentennial Man”|
|“Christmas Without Rodney”|