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From Isaac Asimov, the writer whose name is synonymous with robots and the science of robotics, here are five decades of robot visions--thirty-four landmark stories and essays, including three rare tales--gathered together in one volume. Meet all of Asimov's most famous creations: Robbie, the very first robot that his imagination brought to life; Susan Calvin, the original From Isaac Asimov, the writer whose name is synonymous with robots and the science of robotics, here are five decades of robot visions--thirty-four landmark stories and essays, including three rare tales--gathered together in one volume. Meet all of Asimov's most famous creations: Robbie, the very first robot that his imagination brought to life; Susan Calvin, the original robot psychologist; Stephen Byerley, the humanoid robot; and the famous human-robot detective team of Lije Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, who have appeared in such bestselling novesl as The Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire. Let the master himself guide you through the key moments in the fictional history of robot-human relations--from the most primitive computers and movile machines to the first robot to become a man. (Description from back cover) CONTENTS Introduction by Isaac Asimov Stories "Robot Visions" (1990 - new for this book) "Too Bad!" (1989) "Robbie" (1940) "Reason" (1941) "Liar!" (1941) "Runaround" (1942) "Evidence" (1946) "Little Lost Robot" "The Evitable Conflict" (1950) "Feminine Intuition" (1969) "The Bicentennial Man" (1976) "Someday" (1956) "Think!" (1977) "Segregationist" (1967) "Mirror Image" (1972) "Lenny" (1957) "Galley Slave" (1941) "Christmas without Rodney" (1988) Essays "Robots I Have Known" (1954) "The New Teachers" (1976) "Whatever You Wish" (1977) "The Friends We Make" (1977) "Our Intelligent Tools" (1977) "The Laws of Robotics" (1979) "Future Fantastic" (1989) "The Machine and the Robot" (1978) "The New Profession" (1979) "The Robot As Enemy?" (1979) "Intelligences Together" (1979) "My Robots" (1987) "Cybernetic Organism" (1987) "The Sense of Humor" (1988) "Robots in Combination" (1988) The volume features many black-and-white illustrations by Ralph McQuarrie.


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From Isaac Asimov, the writer whose name is synonymous with robots and the science of robotics, here are five decades of robot visions--thirty-four landmark stories and essays, including three rare tales--gathered together in one volume. Meet all of Asimov's most famous creations: Robbie, the very first robot that his imagination brought to life; Susan Calvin, the original From Isaac Asimov, the writer whose name is synonymous with robots and the science of robotics, here are five decades of robot visions--thirty-four landmark stories and essays, including three rare tales--gathered together in one volume. Meet all of Asimov's most famous creations: Robbie, the very first robot that his imagination brought to life; Susan Calvin, the original robot psychologist; Stephen Byerley, the humanoid robot; and the famous human-robot detective team of Lije Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, who have appeared in such bestselling novesl as The Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire. Let the master himself guide you through the key moments in the fictional history of robot-human relations--from the most primitive computers and movile machines to the first robot to become a man. (Description from back cover) CONTENTS Introduction by Isaac Asimov Stories "Robot Visions" (1990 - new for this book) "Too Bad!" (1989) "Robbie" (1940) "Reason" (1941) "Liar!" (1941) "Runaround" (1942) "Evidence" (1946) "Little Lost Robot" "The Evitable Conflict" (1950) "Feminine Intuition" (1969) "The Bicentennial Man" (1976) "Someday" (1956) "Think!" (1977) "Segregationist" (1967) "Mirror Image" (1972) "Lenny" (1957) "Galley Slave" (1941) "Christmas without Rodney" (1988) Essays "Robots I Have Known" (1954) "The New Teachers" (1976) "Whatever You Wish" (1977) "The Friends We Make" (1977) "Our Intelligent Tools" (1977) "The Laws of Robotics" (1979) "Future Fantastic" (1989) "The Machine and the Robot" (1978) "The New Profession" (1979) "The Robot As Enemy?" (1979) "Intelligences Together" (1979) "My Robots" (1987) "Cybernetic Organism" (1987) "The Sense of Humor" (1988) "Robots in Combination" (1988) The volume features many black-and-white illustrations by Ralph McQuarrie.

30 review for Robot Visions

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Robot Visions (Robot 0.5), Isaac Asimov Robot Visions (1990) is a collection of science fiction short stories and factual essays by Isaac Asimov. Many of the stories are reprinted from other Asimov collections, particularly I, Robot and The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories. It also includes the title story, "Robot Visions" (written specifically for this collection), which combines Asimov's motifs of robots and of time travel. It is the companion book to Robot Dreams. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 199 Robot Visions (Robot 0.5), Isaac Asimov Robot Visions (1990) is a collection of science fiction short stories and factual essays by Isaac Asimov. Many of the stories are reprinted from other Asimov collections, particularly I, Robot and The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories. It also includes the title story, "Robot Visions" (written specifically for this collection), which combines Asimov's motifs of robots and of time travel. It is the companion book to Robot Dreams. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1995 میلادی عنوان: دنیای روباتها (رباتها)؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: حسن اصغری؛ تهران، انتشارات شقایق؛ 1373؛ در 485ص؛ کتاب دنیای روباتها مشتمل بر چند داستان کوتاه است، و نیز مقالات آیزاک آسیموف، فهرست عنوان داستانها: تاریخچه ی روبات، دنیای روباتها، خیلی بد شد، رابی، دلیل، دروغگو، گردش، شاهد، روبات گمشده، جنگ قابل اجتناب، فراست زنانه، مرد دویست ساله، روزی، فکر، جدایی، دزدی علمی، لنی، غلط گیری، کریستمس بدون رادنی، آغاز مقاله ها شامل 16مقاله ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    This is a collection of short stories and essays related to Asimov’s visions of robots in the future. It contains quite a few stories from a better-known anthology I, Robot. Actually the latter has only 5 entries not found in the former. Before Asimov practically every story related to an artificially created life (or its semblance) starting all the way from myth of Ancient Greece ended up with the creation turning against its creators – robots turning against humanity for our particular case. H This is a collection of short stories and essays related to Asimov’s visions of robots in the future. It contains quite a few stories from a better-known anthology I, Robot. Actually the latter has only 5 entries not found in the former. Before Asimov practically every story related to an artificially created life (or its semblance) starting all the way from myth of Ancient Greece ended up with the creation turning against its creators – robots turning against humanity for our particular case. Hollywood still milk these stories for what it is worth (Terminator franchise, anybody?) Asimov decided it would be a good idea to create safeguards in robots against such case. Thus The Three Laws of Robotics were born. To make a long story short these are included on the most fundamental level of an artificial brain and prevent a robot from doing a harm to a human in any form. Sufficient to say they were taken seriously by contemporary artificial intelligence researchers – in real life that is. What is so exciting about 100% obedient robots that warrants a fairly big story collection? It is quite possible to have a situation when the three fundamental laws conflict among themselves and Asimov was quite good at coming up with such situations. How does cold logic cope with a seemingly unsolvable paradox? Read the anthology. The stories take place during different times between the appearance of first robots (according to them we should already have more advanced forms of them by now) to humanity settling in deep space. Some characters appear in several stories. Asimov is considered to be one of the major classics of science fiction and these stories are part of the reason. Please do not get me wrong, they are good. The criticism that follows resulted in my rating being 3.5 stars as opposed to 5. The biggest reason for my (slight) disappointment is that the stories and essays aged. Let me explain. Since the time serious research related to computer science began a lot of effort was put into work on artificial intelligence (AI). Around 60 years later there were practically no results to show for it. AI practically became modern equivalent of snake oil. It is so bad that recently Microsoft trying to show something connected a database to voice system and proudly called the outcome breakthrough in AI. For people unfamiliar with the terms: it is nothing of the sort. So fear not, Skynet is not coming anytime soon. For this reason The Three Laws are not as relevant for modern life. What is interesting is that Asimov often uses robots and machines (meaning computers) interchangeably. Here I have to admit that when it comes to computing we achieved more than Asimov envisioned. In one story he described a robot which essentially performed what we now call spell-checking. It only took a robot around 20 minutes for a book. Any decent modern word processing program can do it in seconds. As another example in the distant future machines designed higher-level machines that in turn designed even higher-level machines: ten times total. In the end the level of sophistication was completely incomprehensible to humans. These days we can design equally sophisticated computers ourselves and the design can still be comprehensible – at least to specialists. What did we achieve with such powerful hardware? We managed to create slower and slower software so regarding the user experience in performance the old program on an ancient PC build at the time when dinosaurs rules the Earth is the same as a modern program on a modern PC/tablet/smartphone. In fact I am continued to be amazed by the tricks people come up with - always and without failing - to make programs even slower: I am saying this as a person who works in IT industry. This brings me to a question about what do we have to show for developing such powerful computers? I am not really sure. Do grown up guys going off a high cliff playing Pokémon Go count? Now that I put it this way, we – humans – are pathetic. Coming back to Robot Visions my advice would be to read it in small doses as the stories can become somewhat repetitive. Blah blah The Three Laws blah blah Susan Calvin will fix the problem blah blah… This would be the plot of the vast majority of them. Considering all I said (“ranted about” would be a better term) the final rating is 3.5 stars as I mentioned before. Unfortunately because it is apparently easier to break a perfectly good homepage than to implement half-stars I have to round the rating down. I am still willing to sign any form that states that the anthology is a classic of science fiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    This collection of Asimov's deathless Robot series, shorter works that add up to a guiding vision of what Humanity strives for in the creation of a computerized mechanical slave class, starts with an essay entitled "The Robot Chronicles." As I assume most everyone reading Asimov in this day and time is reasonably familiar with the stories that make up the series, I'll confine my observations to the essay which is not otherwise available in print, though it exists on audio for your edification. As This collection of Asimov's deathless Robot series, shorter works that add up to a guiding vision of what Humanity strives for in the creation of a computerized mechanical slave class, starts with an essay entitled "The Robot Chronicles." As I assume most everyone reading Asimov in this day and time is reasonably familiar with the stories that make up the series, I'll confine my observations to the essay which is not otherwise available in print, though it exists on audio for your edification. Asimov, a lecherous old hump with a *terrible* (richly deservedly so) reputation among female fandom, made some conceptual leaps in his career that have remained extremely relevant to the modern world. His centenary was this past second of January. His reputation is such that the jollifications in fandom were...muted. This is understandable, even laudable, but still regrettable. The Three Laws of Robotics, with which his essay deals in a way I did not expect, alone should guarantee his place on the podium of Authors of Merit. But as sensitivity and awareness and the need for all of us to do better now that we know better are in operation, there must needs be a period of desuetude for famous offenders against our new order. Nothing will knock his contributions out of use. His name will, whether temporarily or permanently, be expunged from the common usage of the robotics conversation (or so I predict). But he remains the originator of the modern technical and social conception of the Robot. This essay is a personal history of how and why and who and what led Isaac Asimov to develop the Laws, the concept of the robot that he adopted and adapted so thoroughly from Karel Čapek's 1920 play R.U.R., and the enduring trope of the machine that longs to be human. (No, he was not the first to bring that idea to the table. Please spare me comments about Galatea and other inanimate objects of personification. They are all stipulated as predecessors to Asimov's creation and influences thereon, conscious or unconscious, herewith.) As a personal essay reflecting on Asimov's reasons for and responses to his robotics work, I found the half-hour or so of reading deeply pleasurable. Not five-star's worth, though. I found a smugness, arguably earned, in his telling (retelling, more like, since he had given this text as talks over the years he was lionized) that is a fundamentally squicky emotion for me. I don't think anyone really intelligent is ever free of smugness. I also think it ill becomes the intelligent not to include some self-deprecation in their smugness, some overt and clear signal that they understand and are sorry for the feeling of irritation and annoyance their (however well-earned) expertise elicits in the hearer/reader. Asimov does not do that here...his response, for example, to the OFTEN brought charge that Roddenberry used Asimov's Bicentennial Man as source material for Lt. Cmdr. Data: "I didn't mind." Aren't you kind. Still, there it is. Along with being a handsy old letch he was an arrogant bastard. And a genius at some things (though not particularly at the *craft* of writing). And a light gone out too soon. He was a stripling of seventy-two when he died, and I for one would give a not-very-affordable decade off my life to hear what he'd have to say about the modern world. If you don't want to read his Robot stories, listen to the essay on audio. But I think you'll want to read them once you do.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    I've enjoyed everything that I've ever read by Asimov, and this is no exception. Hardly surprising at this point. The robot short stories are always very fun to read. It's amazing how many great story ideas he was able to get out of three unbreakable laws, isn't it? Let's break this collection down a bit. Of the 18 stories in this collection, seven can also be found in I, Robot. In fact, every story from I, Robot but one can also be found here, without the linking text starring Susan Calvin. I'm I've enjoyed everything that I've ever read by Asimov, and this is no exception. Hardly surprising at this point. The robot short stories are always very fun to read. It's amazing how many great story ideas he was able to get out of three unbreakable laws, isn't it? Let's break this collection down a bit. Of the 18 stories in this collection, seven can also be found in I, Robot. In fact, every story from I, Robot but one can also be found here, without the linking text starring Susan Calvin. I'm not saying that people who have read I, Robot can skip Robot Visions, or vice versa. Far from it. I love the linking text in I, Robot, and would have been sorry to miss it. And there are truly excellent stories here that aren't in I, Robot, including one with Elijah Baley and Daneel. Despite the overlap, I'm glad that I read both collections. I, Robot was, to my memory, the first that I ever read of Asimov, so seeing those stories again was somewhat nostalgic. Plus, the cover art is really spectacular. The essays, on the other hand, will probably leave a lot of readers cold. For me, I was amazed at how little they felt dated, considering that the most recent essay is now 25 years old. I think it's in the conversational, easy way Asimov is able to explain his thoughts, and it certainly helped that he was thinking so far ahead. I didn't like all of them, to be honest, but as a whole they were far more interesting than not. I forget sometimes that a lot of his writing was nonfiction, and this was a good reminder. But this is probably only a book for real enthusiasts of Asimov's brand of robots. Everyone else should stick to I, Robot, which is a great book in its own right.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Simona B

    “...for if we study in detail two entirely different kinds of intelligence, we may learn to understand intelligence in a much more general and fundamental way than is now possible...” Robot Visions contains three stories not included in The Complete Robot, namely "Christmas Without Rodney"(1988), "Too Bad!" (1989) and the titular "Robot Visions" (1990). It also features a series of short essays all concerning machines in general and, some, robots in particular, and the hardcore Asimov devotee wil “...for if we study in detail two entirely different kinds of intelligence, we may learn to understand intelligence in a much more general and fundamental way than is now possible...” Robot Visions contains three stories not included in The Complete Robot, namely "Christmas Without Rodney"(1988), "Too Bad!" (1989) and the titular "Robot Visions" (1990). It also features a series of short essays all concerning machines in general and, some, robots in particular, and the hardcore Asimov devotee will certainly rejoice in the authorial commentary and inspiring insights they provide in relation to the robot stories, and not only.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Three New Stories and some Repetitive Essays 23 September 2020 I have to admit that the only reason I purchased this book was so that I could read the three robot stories that aren’t in any of the other books that I have, and that is quite annoying because there are a bunch of stories that appear in the other books meaning that I pretty much skipped half the book because it ended up that I would be simply rereading something that I have read multiple times before. Still, as I mentioned, there wer Three New Stories and some Repetitive Essays 23 September 2020 I have to admit that the only reason I purchased this book was so that I could read the three robot stories that aren’t in any of the other books that I have, and that is quite annoying because there are a bunch of stories that appear in the other books meaning that I pretty much skipped half the book because it ended up that I would be simply rereading something that I have read multiple times before. Still, as I mentioned, there were three stories that I hadn’t read, as well as a collection of essays that Asimov wrote on robots, one of them back in the 50s, and the rest of them in the 80s. As he says, most of his robot stories deal with conflicts in the Three Laws of Robotics (something that he drums on about repeatedly, as well as the fact that he is the first person to have ever coined the term robotics, though he also points out that this is probably the only long-lasting contribution that he has ever made to humanity). The first few stories weren’t so much like this, but when he and Campbell sat down and nutted out the rules, they did open up lots of opportunities to write about how they interact, and the problems that arise when these laws come into conflict. Then again, the entire legal profession builds itself around the fact that laws can never be hard and fast, and there are always exceptions, and loopholes, and ambiguities that can be exploited. As some have said, every time you attempt to plug a loophole in the law, a hundred more open up. One interesting story has a robot named Rambo (Asimov suggested that all robots have names that start with R, meaning that no human has a name that starts with R). This quite clearly tells us when the novel was written because, well, the word Rambo only entered the English language after the character appeared in the film First Blood (which I have to admit is actually a pretty good film). I sometimes wonder if this was intentional, namely because Asimov is demonstrating how language changes over time, and that you can actually date a story based upon the words that are used, even a word that is as innocuous as a name (my English teacher once said that the name Shane didn’t appear until after the film of the same name, though the internet suggests that he may have been wrong). With the essays, it is interesting to see how dated that they are. Okay, we did have a rudimentary form of the internet back in the 80s, but Asimov was writing as if robots needed to have all of their thinking power inside of their units, but this is no longer the case, with wifi and with the internet. In fact, with the development of the cloud, processing power is stored elsewhere and software accesses this power remotely, meaning that robots don’t need to have all of the processing power inside of them. In fact, I suspect that a lot of automation is done this was these days, and that driverless cars would also be using this technology (though it doesn’t solve the problem of what would happen if the network went down). Yet there is also the question of whether robots can ever think and react like humans. Sure, we have machine learning, and some of the methods are designed to mimic the way the human brain works, yet the catch is that human brains don’t think in binary – we think in different ways – computers simply come down to thinking in terms of 0s and 1s. Another thing is that you have to tell computers everything that it needs to know. For instance, if we put a cup on the table, we know that this cup will be there when we return (unless something happens otherwise, such as our housemate puts it in the dishwasher). This needs to be programmed into the robot, as well as contingencies (if it is not there, somebody has moved it – yeah programming computers comes down to a lot of if/then statements). It is interesting to see how Facebook developed the reactions that exist beyond simple likes. We were discussing this in one of our Machine Learning classes, how it is a way to teach computers what makes us sad, what makes us laugh, and so on. Yet, I’m still not convinced, that we all of this data being passed through Facebook’s servers, that a computer will learn to be able to respond to a joke or even be able to create one themselves. Another thing is that the first time we hear a joke we consider it funny, but as time goes on, and we continue to hear it, it ceases to be funny – can a computer be trained in that method as well, or is it the case that if a computer learns that something is funny, then it just laughs whenever it sees that joke, without realising that the joke has ceased to be funny years ago. It is interesting reading this book, and the essays, after two and a half years of computer science, and halfway through an AI subjects. I suspect that a lot of developments came out of Asimov’s theories, but there were a lot of things that he couldn’t speculate on because, well, he was a chemist that liked writing Science-Fiction. Personally, computers tend to be reactionary, and can really only react to things that it is told to react to. Okay, they can search, but once again the parameters must be given to it. On the other hand, one can argue that the same is the case with us. However, our brain is able to take in an awful lot more information, whereas computers must be instructed to take that information, and has to be specific as well. Sure, we do have advanced machine learning algorithms, but the reason is that people have already created them. Mind you, as Asimov suggested, even when robots to replace humans, they also tend to open up a lot more jobs that humans are required to do.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alice Lee

    After I, Robot, I was hungry for more robot stories, and Robot Visions was the only other robot collection I could find at my local library. A good chunk of the collection are in I, Robot, but without the connecting segments where Susan Calvin was interviewed. I personally enjoyed I, Robot more and thought the stories collected there were more solid, but this is by no means a weak collection at all. More mysteries, more puzzles, more situations where your inner child delights at the faithful rob After I, Robot, I was hungry for more robot stories, and Robot Visions was the only other robot collection I could find at my local library. A good chunk of the collection are in I, Robot, but without the connecting segments where Susan Calvin was interviewed. I personally enjoyed I, Robot more and thought the stories collected there were more solid, but this is by no means a weak collection at all. More mysteries, more puzzles, more situations where your inner child delights at the faithful robot and cheers for the happy ending, and your more mature brain ponders the many questions that Asimov proposes in each story. The collection of short essays at the end of the book was a pure pleasure to read. Asimov comes off as a playful and optimistic person/writer that I find very endearing. The more I read Asimov, the more I admire his writing style. He doesn't take roundabout ways of saying anything that can be said in a line, and he doesn't spend pages setting up or spewing personal agenda. His heroes aren't overwrought with overwhelming personal pain or anguish and he doesn't try to fit a metaphor into every other line. He doesn't say unnecessary shit, and the result is a prose that reads naturally and cleanly. I love it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Pre-reading research reveals that I, Robot, is the first collection of short stories. Second is The Rest of the Robots. Robot Dreams only has one new story in it. The Complete Robot is reported to be truly complete. This, I dunno. Another selection of some of the musty favorites and dusty rarities, but nothing actually new? ------------- Read. I did read Complete a few months ago, and so nothing here was new (I don't think). I did skip the non-fiction essays at the end. And I skimmed the stories t Pre-reading research reveals that I, Robot, is the first collection of short stories. Second is The Rest of the Robots. Robot Dreams only has one new story in it. The Complete Robot is reported to be truly complete. This, I dunno. Another selection of some of the musty favorites and dusty rarities, but nothing actually new? ------------- Read. I did read Complete a few months ago, and so nothing here was new (I don't think). I did skip the non-fiction essays at the end. And I skimmed the stories that I remembered clearly enough. Of course, if this is the only collection of Asimov's Robot shorts you have available, I recommend it as a five star must read. And if you're a hard-core completist, the pictures add enough interest that you won't likely feel you're wasting your time. The rest of us can stick with other collections.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dave Packard

    Really 3.5 stars... this is mostly a book of Asimov’s robot short stories which are great. I had read some in the past, but some were new to me, and I love his robot tales! Unfortunately for me the last about 1/4 of the book is his essays on robots, psychology, futurism, etc. and I found that as the robot stories have held up well the essays have not. So final word, if you are not a completionist read the short stories and leave the essays behind!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜

    The review by Arthur C. Clarke is what partially made me interested in this. That and also thinking Isaac Asimov is the allfather of Sci-fi. Also, ROBOTS.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vylūnė

  12. 5 out of 5

    Francesca Calarco

    In a world where so many stories in the sci-fi and speculative genres tend to be bleak and gritty, Isaac Asimov's Robot Visions is a sweet breath of fresh air. Asimov includes in this volume both short works of fiction and essays that formulate a cohesive imagined universe, as well as a fully fleshed out vision of future technology. It is impossible to talk about anything in this collection without diving into Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, as first formally presented in the short story "Runaro In a world where so many stories in the sci-fi and speculative genres tend to be bleak and gritty, Isaac Asimov's Robot Visions is a sweet breath of fresh air. Asimov includes in this volume both short works of fiction and essays that formulate a cohesive imagined universe, as well as a fully fleshed out vision of future technology. It is impossible to talk about anything in this collection without diving into Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, as first formally presented in the short story "Runaround" - 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. These rules act as the underlying principles that methodically build a believable world based in logical actions and reactions. The robots are not symbols for certain types of humans, there are no identities forced upon them, they simply exist as in accordance with these three laws. That is one narrative angle that makes the Asimov's robots so intriguing. Robots are stripped bare of human prejudices and avarice, and what is left is just as telling about humans as it is about these entirely new entities. In the essay "The Friends We Make," Asimov explains, "...we relate to all nonhuman things by finding, or inventing, something human about them. We attribute human characteristics to our pets, and even to our automobiles. We personify nature and all the products of nature and, in earlier times, made human-shaped gods and goddesses out of them" (419). As much as I love films like The Terminator or 2001: A Space Odyssey, these stories' malignant robots are truly just a projection of human fears of the unknown. In many of the stories of Robot Visions, Asimov goes a step further to shed a light on and even poke fun of peoples' fears of being replaced by robots. Humans are competitive and many different groups have overpowered and displaced (even replaced) one another throughout history. It makes sense humans would fear a man made, physically stronger, human-shaped entity as a potential threat with the same unfortunate proclivities. So Asimov's robots cannot harm people, though he does flirt with the idea of robots replacing humans as not the worst thing, given their built-in benevolence. While breaking robots down to the three laws 'dehumanizes' them so to speak, there is nothing hallow or inhuman about Asimov's stories. In fact, by showing robots operate solely within these simple principles, greater truths about what it means to be human are unearthed. I think this is displayed most strongly in "The Bicentennial Man," a story that completely opened my own mind on what it truly means to accept an otherly entity's autonomy in the same way we would do so for another person's humanity. People sympathize with suffering and the innate finality of life, and we have a hard time understanding separate entities that do not exist in these same temporary realities. Even though we fear death, we fear entities not subject to death with the same gravity. Robo-psychiatrist Dr. Susan Calvin shows up in a number of these stories, and in "Galley Slave" she succinctly concludes, "It is only by being concerned for robots that one can truly be concerned for the twenty-first century man" (391). To understand the other, is to understand (and maybe even love) the self. Robots are not humans, but it is with this continuous moral theme that Asimov creates such a hopeful and optimistic universe filled with humanity. Another component of this collection that I greatly enjoyed, was Asimov's history of robots. He may have popularized the concept, and even inspired real life scientist's work, but he did not invent the idea and makes that very clear. By including a cultural history that touches on anthropomorphized gods of Greek traditions, and golems of Jewish lore, he better makes a clear case for the principles that make his own universe tick. If you are a nerd who loves both history and science, this is pretty dope stuff. Overall, I loved this collection and I am excited to read more of Asimov's work. Just as the concept of robots is now well established in the present day zeitgeist, Asimov now has an established a place in my otherwise cold and unfeeling heart.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I wanted to “read” The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov but it wasn’t available on audio (my preferred format for consuming old science fiction). However, Audible.com had three anthologies of Asimov’s stories, I, Robot, Robot Dreams, and Robot Visions. So I wrote out a list of all the stories in The Complete Robot and marked which stories were available on audio in these three audiobooks. After listening to Robot Dreams I had a new appreciation for Isaac Asimov. Now that I’ve finished Robot Vision I wanted to “read” The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov but it wasn’t available on audio (my preferred format for consuming old science fiction). However, Audible.com had three anthologies of Asimov’s stories, I, Robot, Robot Dreams, and Robot Visions. So I wrote out a list of all the stories in The Complete Robot and marked which stories were available on audio in these three audiobooks. After listening to Robot Dreams I had a new appreciation for Isaac Asimov. Now that I’ve finished Robot Visions I have even more appreciation. But boy, I sure am sick of hearing the Three Laws of Robotics being restated. Robot Visions (1990) has 18 short stories about robots and computers, and 17 essays about writing about robots and computers. Listening to these two volumes you realize just how much of Asimov’s life was devoted to thinking about robots. These stories cover 48 years – from “Robbie” (1940) to “Christmas With Rodney” (1988). Asimov died in 1992, so that’s pretty much his entire writing life. You can read the rest of my review at my blog: https://classicsofsciencefiction.com/...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Turtlefrog

    I really enjoyed a majority of the short stories. But I found the esseys to be a little redundant.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Richard Knight

    Though I have not read all 400 (jeez) of Asimov's books, I have read his entire Foundation and Robot series, so I think I have a feel for the master's work. And like The Foundation series (Not so much his Robot series, which, like Asimov, I agree is pretty perfect), there are some great yarns, and some not so great yarns, and this book of short stories and essays is similar-Some great ones, and some not so great ones. There are some standout stories, like "Runaround" which was the first story to Though I have not read all 400 (jeez) of Asimov's books, I have read his entire Foundation and Robot series, so I think I have a feel for the master's work. And like The Foundation series (Not so much his Robot series, which, like Asimov, I agree is pretty perfect), there are some great yarns, and some not so great yarns, and this book of short stories and essays is similar-Some great ones, and some not so great ones. There are some standout stories, like "Runaround" which was the first story to put the three laws of robots in print, and "The Bicentennial Man". But there are some truly awful short stories in here, too, that probably only got published since they had Asimov's name attached to them. Likewise with the essays. Some were extremely prescient, like his theory on what would eventually become social media, and some are lousy, like his essay on humor. All in all, not required reading by any means, but if you can pick and choose which stories you want to read by what sounds interesting, then you might enjoy it more than me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    Great collection of stories from an author whose name brings up visions of robots. This is a good way for readers to take a peek into an extraordinary mind and travel through science fiction stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John

    Enjoyed it

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dom Fantazzi

    Good short story collection, even better in small doses as all stories have essentially the same message over and over again. Did not finish.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Craig Childs

    This 1990 short story collection is a companion volume to Robot Dreams (1986). Both volumes were criticized upon publication for being largely reprints of previously collected material. However, if your goal is to read all Asimov's robot short stories, you'll most likely want to read these after The Complete Robot (1982). These collections contain the final four robot stories written after 1977, as well as non-robot stories such as "The Last Question" and "Feeling of Power" which Asimov consider This 1990 short story collection is a companion volume to Robot Dreams (1986). Both volumes were criticized upon publication for being largely reprints of previously collected material. However, if your goal is to read all Asimov's robot short stories, you'll most likely want to read these after The Complete Robot (1982). These collections contain the final four robot stories written after 1977, as well as non-robot stories such as "The Last Question" and "Feeling of Power" which Asimov considered vital to understanding the evolution of computing and robotics in his imagined future. Here are my individual story reviews: "Introduction: The Robot Chronicles" -- The author discusses how robot stories evolved from ancient myths of golems and other inanimate objects vested with human abilities and emotions. He also discusses several of his most important robot stories and how they influenced the field. “Robot Visions” (1990) - A robot is sent 200 years into the future to investigate the fate of humanity. Its report sounds too good to be true, but all may not be as it first seems. This is an engaging tale that combines time travel, the ambiguity of the Three Laws, and an unreliable narrator. It was Asimov's last robot story, and he went out on a high note with a strong story. “Too Bad!” (1989) - Doctors inject a miniaturized robot into a cancer patient in an experimental technique to allow the robot to destroy malignant cells. The process of miniaturization used in this story is hokey even by the standards of when it was written (the whole scene is an uncomfortable callback to the author's Fantastic Voyage books). Even so, this sort of procedure could be read as a prediction of the applications of nanotechnology. "Robbie" (1940) - A girl is attached to her nursemaid robot. When he is returned for an upgrade, she visits the factory where all robots come from. This was Asimov's first robot story, written in 1939. Also published in a standalone illustrated children's edition in 1989. "Reason" (1941)- A robot on a space station begins to believe it is a god rather than a creation of men. The most thought-provoking of the Powell-and-Donovan stories. "Liar" (1941) - A mind-reading robot begins to lie in order to prevent psychological harm to humans. This story accentuates the emotional scars and sacrifices Susan Calvin made. (When Harlan Ellison adapted I, Robot into a screenplay, he used this story as well as "Lenny" from The Rest of the Robots to carry much of the emotional weight of the film.) "Runaround" (1942) - A robot begins to break down under the hot sun of Mercury. Engineers Powell and Donovan begin to suspect it may be capable of violating the Three Laws. Visual and action-oriented. "Evidence" (1946) and "The Evitable Conflict" (1950) -- This pair of stories tells of a robot who impersonates a human in order to rise in politics. He ultimately manipulates mankind in order to save it from itself, in keeping with the First Law. "Little Lost Robot" (1947) - When a rogue and dangerous robot attempts to hide itself among other identical units, Susan Calvin must use her wits to identify it. This is a chilling look at the consequences of using sentient machines as slave labor. It was also the basis for one of the more memorable scenes in the movie version of I, Robot. “Feminine Intuition” (1969)--US Robotics builds a robot for the purpose of space exploration with the ability to learn intuitively and surpass its original programmed functions. (This seems to be essentially the same idea Susan Calvin first proposed in "Lenny".) After the new "Jane" model is destroyed in a freak accident, Dr. Calvin is brought out of retirement to investigate whether it had solved the problem of finding a habitable planet in the galaxy. “The Bicentennial Man” (1976) - Andrew is a robot who witnesses 200 years of human history and battles a society prejudiced against him in order to be allowed to be recognized as fully human. This is Asimov's greatest robot story. It examines what makes us human and the sometimes artificial distinctions between man and machine. It won a 1977 Hugo and was later expanded into the full-length novel Positronic Man by Robert Silverberg. "Someday" (1956) -- Two boys live in a future so automated people have lost their ability to read, write, and do mathematical calculations manually. They get their stories from robots called Bards who use only cliché formulas. This story did not work for me because their world was presented as rather idyllic. The boys ultimately decide to learn to write so they have a way to pass secret messages. "Think!" (1977) -- A scientist invents a device to read people's minds, and she is shocked to discover her computer has sentient thoughts, too. This story serves two purposes: Asimov gets to explore in detail a theory how lasers might be used to read brainwaves, expanding on the basic principle of an EEG. (The science is dated!) It is also the story of finding the first evidence of artificial intelligence that gave rise to the positronic brain in the Robot/Empire/Foundation universe. “Segregationist” (1967) - The distinction between robots and humans threatens to disappear in a future where men receive mechanical replacement organs and robots request biological implants. There is an overt parallel to segregation policy--keeping the races separate--but Asimov does not quite seem to know what to do with this concept yet. Ten years later, he would address it again in perhaps his greatest short story "Bicentennial Man". This is now a common theme in science fiction, most recently in "By Degrees and Dilatory Time" by S.L. Huang. “Mirror Image” (1972) -- Two emminent mathematicians are feuding over who deserves credit for a brilliant new theory. Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw (from the novels Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun) must interview their robot servants and use deductive logic to figure out who is lying. This is a fun callback to the early puzzle stories that explored the ambiguity in the Three Laws of Robotics. “Lenny” (1958) -- Due to a freak accident, one of the Lenny robots was created with an only partially formed brain. Susan Calvin must train it from scratch, as one might raise a child. This story, along with "Liar", gives us a glimpse into Susan's human side. It also serves as a missing link story to explain how versatile, human-like androids such as R. Daneel Olivaw came to being. This is the earliest sci-fi story I've read that posits the idea of raising an AI like a child; Ted Chiang used it as the basis for his Hugo-winning novella "Lifecycle of Software Objects" in 2010. “Galley Slave“ (1957)--A robot designed for proofreading galley copies is put on trial for extensively rewriting portions of a book without the author's consent. I did not like this story. It seemed silly to use robots for proofreading, especially in light of current technology where every word processor program checks spelling and grammar. It also relied on the tired trope of a character confessing on the witness stand. “Christmas Without Rodney” (1988) - A grandfather fights with his daughter-in-law and his spoiled grandson over the use of an older robot versus a newer model. The story is slight, but I have to admit enjoying the snarky, mean-spirited family squabbling. In addition to the stories, this volume collects 16 essays on the subject of robots written (mostly) in the 1970's. Asimov is usually an entertaining essayist, but on the whole I found these to be a bit dull and dated. The best was "Fantastic Future" in which the author correctly predicted many of the benefits and problems that have come to define our post-internet society. (I may now start incorporating the term "techno-child" to describe everyone younger than me!)

  20. 5 out of 5

    10TX

    Good book. 3 stars. I would likely not reread this book. I would recommend this book to select people with an interest in this genre, the history of it, and everything robot. Also, any hard core Asimov fans. This book, along with Robot Dreams, is a repackaging of Asimov's robot short stories. There are no repeats between those two books. In the intro, Asimov introduces each of his robot stories that he believes broke ground, most of which are published in this volume. Stories included: (and what o Good book. 3 stars. I would likely not reread this book. I would recommend this book to select people with an interest in this genre, the history of it, and everything robot. Also, any hard core Asimov fans. This book, along with Robot Dreams, is a repackaging of Asimov's robot short stories. There are no repeats between those two books. In the intro, Asimov introduces each of his robot stories that he believes broke ground, most of which are published in this volume. Stories included: (and what other collection they can be found in) Robot Visions Too Bad! Robbie (I-Robot) Reason (I-Robot) Liar! (I-Robot) Runaround (I-Robot) Evidence (I-Robot) Little Lost Robot (I-Robot) The Evitable Conflict (I-Robot) Feminine Intuition (The Complete Robot) The Bicentennial Man (The Complete Robot) Someday (The Complete Robot) Think! (The Complete Robot) Segregationist (The Complete Robot) Mirror Image (The Complete Robot) Lenny (The Rest of the Robots) Galley Slave (The Rest of the Robots) Christmas Without Rodney Also includes 16 short essays on everything robot that Isamov decided to ponder in print.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    Since I've criticized Asimov for gender bias previously, I feel I owe it to mention that, somewhere in the mid to late sixties, he appears to have recognized the problem and evolved his outlook on women. In "Feminine Intuition," Susan Calvin becomes more fully fleshed out than her prior stereotypical old maid incarnations. The point is made that instead of recognizing a woman's intellect and logic is what it is that there is a sexist tendency to rename it as something mystical. In "The Bicentenn Since I've criticized Asimov for gender bias previously, I feel I owe it to mention that, somewhere in the mid to late sixties, he appears to have recognized the problem and evolved his outlook on women. In "Feminine Intuition," Susan Calvin becomes more fully fleshed out than her prior stereotypical old maid incarnations. The point is made that instead of recognizing a woman's intellect and logic is what it is that there is a sexist tendency to rename it as something mystical. In "The Bicentennial Man," we see strong and complete female characters who are not deemed unlovable because of their strength and who are presented as leaders without implications that the jobs were easy and unwanted by men. In "Think!," he addresses the discriminatory notion that a woman may not be attractive and competent. Personally, I could have cheerfully omitted the essays at the end despite the fact that they contained some wonderful concepts. En masse they come across as repetitive. Additionally, they contain some quasi-spoilers for some of his other works.

  22. 4 out of 5

    G33z3r

    Asimov was expert at repackaging material, and all the Robot short stories in this volume have appeared in other Robot books before, but I picked it up for the introduction by the good doctor, as well as the science-fact and opinion essays included at the back. The latter were considerably shorter than I expected, though not one interesting, so I ended up rereading most of the novella and short stories anyway. The Bicentennial Man is always enjoyable, to see how close Asimov could come to repudi Asimov was expert at repackaging material, and all the Robot short stories in this volume have appeared in other Robot books before, but I picked it up for the introduction by the good doctor, as well as the science-fact and opinion essays included at the back. The latter were considerably shorter than I expected, though not one interesting, so I ended up rereading most of the novella and short stories anyway. The Bicentennial Man is always enjoyable, to see how close Asimov could come to repudiating his famous three laws of robotics without ever quite getting there. and although I'm pretty sure I'd read "Galley Slave" before, it somehow managed to erase it from my memory. (One of the things about getting on in years, much that was old is new again!)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd

    This book of robot stories by Asimov was as good as any other. I think among those four collections of robot stories ("I, Robot", "The Complete Robot", "Robot Dreams" and this one), this one and "Robot Dreams are my favorites. The quality of stories and the mixture of robot and non-robot tales in "Robot Dreams" made it one of my favorites. This one has some of the best robot stories within (classics along with more modren ones) and a number of essays by Asimov about his robot stories. This book pr This book of robot stories by Asimov was as good as any other. I think among those four collections of robot stories ("I, Robot", "The Complete Robot", "Robot Dreams" and this one), this one and "Robot Dreams are my favorites. The quality of stories and the mixture of robot and non-robot tales in "Robot Dreams" made it one of my favorites. This one has some of the best robot stories within (classics along with more modren ones) and a number of essays by Asimov about his robot stories. This book provides, I think, the best overview of all the robot stories and is very informative with the essays by Asimov himself... Very enjoyable...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    I read this as part of a work (for fun) book club. It is a collection of some of Asimov's robot stories along with some essays at the end. I'd seen most of these stories in some of my previous Asimov reads. If you haven't read much Asimov, I'd highly recommend this. One knock that I have on Asimov is his high level of optimism. He seems to think that if we had robots that we'd be free to pursue higher things. Personally, I'm not sure that the vast majority of people would pursue higher things as I read this as part of a work (for fun) book club. It is a collection of some of Asimov's robot stories along with some essays at the end. I'd seen most of these stories in some of my previous Asimov reads. If you haven't read much Asimov, I'd highly recommend this. One knock that I have on Asimov is his high level of optimism. He seems to think that if we had robots that we'd be free to pursue higher things. Personally, I'm not sure that the vast majority of people would pursue higher things as opposed to sitting around streaming TV on Netflix or playing games on smart phones.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ezra

    I enjoyed the Asimov's essays about robots, computers, and cyborgs. They are well done. The short stories at the front of the book are the same stories published in other books. There are a few new ones. So, if you do not mind re-reading them or have not read other books, then you are good. Otherwise, you should just read the first and second short stories "Robot Visions" and "Too Bad!" then skip to the last one "Christmas Without Rodney" and continue through the essays. Essentially, 347 pages of I enjoyed the Asimov's essays about robots, computers, and cyborgs. They are well done. The short stories at the front of the book are the same stories published in other books. There are a few new ones. So, if you do not mind re-reading them or have not read other books, then you are good. Otherwise, you should just read the first and second short stories "Robot Visions" and "Too Bad!" then skip to the last one "Christmas Without Rodney" and continue through the essays. Essentially, 347 pages of this book are unnecessary.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell

    This is yet another in the vast sea of work by Isaac Asimov. What really made this a winner for me was the set of essays in the book about why robots will succeed and thrive. One particular essay regards the reason we will create human shaped robots. Short answer: Because they can interact with our world.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    As I read Asimov's Robot stories for the first time since I was a teenager, I've come to some unfortunate realisations. I still enjoy the stories, and I still respect Asimov, but so many of these stories seem to be clever just for the sake of being clever. Like they're thought-experiments. There's a minimum of charm. I guess we'll always have Solaria. As I read Asimov's Robot stories for the first time since I was a teenager, I've come to some unfortunate realisations. I still enjoy the stories, and I still respect Asimov, but so many of these stories seem to be clever just for the sake of being clever. Like they're thought-experiments. There's a minimum of charm. I guess we'll always have Solaria.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Always enjoy the robot stories, always hard to get through his descriptions of women (when there are any).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    The short stories of Isaac Asimov continue to impress me. There is something instructive about looking back on past visions of the future... from the future. In Asimov's stories, robots aren't used to symbolize a marginalized group or act as a warning of what he calls the Frankenstein Effect (simply, a creation turning on it's creator). The 3 laws of robotics forbids this. There are no robot uprisings to be found and the stories are infinitely better for it. Robots are instead *shocker* exactly The short stories of Isaac Asimov continue to impress me. There is something instructive about looking back on past visions of the future... from the future. In Asimov's stories, robots aren't used to symbolize a marginalized group or act as a warning of what he calls the Frankenstein Effect (simply, a creation turning on it's creator). The 3 laws of robotics forbids this. There are no robot uprisings to be found and the stories are infinitely better for it. Robots are instead *shocker* exactly what they were designed to be: machines that take away the drudgery of what has traditionally been considered human work, such as housework. With a robot as a homemaker, the humans of the household are free to spend their time considering abstractions and pursuing "Whatever You Wish". At least in theory. Most of these stories seem to take place sometime in that transition phase between humans are responsible for "human work" and when robots take over most of those occupations. The 3 laws are sufficient enough to not allow any uprising, but vague enough to allow wiggle room and some manipulation by humans. Looking deeper than surface level at these 3 laws turns out to be the source of most of the plots in Asimov's robot stories. And how fruitful a subject it is! Nearly every "unforeseen consequence" of the 3 laws is explored while basic questions about morality and the nature of being human are left for the reader to ponder, as is true of many great Sci-Fi works. This collection in particular contains some of my favorite Asimov short stories such as "The Bicentennial Man" and "Feminine Intuition" as well as some enlightening essays from later on in his career about how robots may be used and perceived (with the benefit of hindsight). On every page Asimov proves his status as one of the all-time greats of forward thinking, realistic Sci-Fi and anyone with even a passing interest in the genre would do well to check out his work. 9/10.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Blaber

    Well, I think I might be a full-fledged roboticist at this point. This book is a collection of short stories that fill in a few of the blanks and backstories of various characters in Asimov's Robot series. Naturally, they have me thinking about the increased use of robots in our society. Ever the futurist, Asimov wonders what will become of our society as robots are employed to do the manual jobs normally reserved for people. Human labour will soon not be required (or only in limited quantity) t Well, I think I might be a full-fledged roboticist at this point. This book is a collection of short stories that fill in a few of the blanks and backstories of various characters in Asimov's Robot series. Naturally, they have me thinking about the increased use of robots in our society. Ever the futurist, Asimov wonders what will become of our society as robots are employed to do the manual jobs normally reserved for people. Human labour will soon not be required (or only in limited quantity) to perform the daily drudgery of feeding, clothing and housing ourselves. Asimov suspects there will be a new Renaissance as a result of the idle time we should all have. Unfortunately, our current economic models require a 40+ long work week for the rank-and-file humans to be worthy of food, clothing and shelter. There will be... tension as robots fill more and more jobs leaving humans to fill in previously unnecessary gaps to prove their worthiness. Time will tell how this is resolved, but it was duly predicted. There's a lot to think about here... and perhaps write about. I recommend these books to everyone.

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