Thursday, September 8, 2011

i, robot

Me, Robot? I don't know, maybe its a Roman numeral one. I didn't find any compelling evidence for a first person reference to robots, unless Isaac Asimov is saying that he's a robot, or that we're ALL robots, and that robots are essentially like us. OR maybe he's saying that robots are man's offspring. Our Singularity-esque next generation. Yeah, maybe that's its. Asimov is probably smarter than Kurzweil anyway, 'mIright?

Okay, so I guess we covered the title. Onward!

I read I, Robot years ago--its safe to say decades ago--and I didn't remember all of the details, and some of the stories I didn't remember at all. I, Robot, like Foundation, is a series of short stories, when read together, make a up a whole. The short stories are set as a series of anecdotes told by the leading robopsychologist working for US Robot & Mechanical Men Corporation, to a young reporter who has come to see her late in her career. She's all: robots are awesome, but they're tricky, tricky.

I'm not really sure how you get the Will Smith movie* from a few years back after reading this, other than to say that they did rip off some of that tricky behavior that robots exhibit in these stories, and put it to use in different ways to move the story of the movie. Maybe 'inspired by the book' would have been a better way to put it.

And okay, here's the last thing: this copy was full of typos. So I'm not sure what the deal is, but I don't remember seeing any in the first part of this volume when I was reading Foundation, but there were some screw ups in I, Robot. Maybe its was originally released with the mistakes and this copy is being true the original? Sounds lame. I mean, one typographical error in a printed book is odd; I, Robot had like three! The word 'no' was used instead of 'not' and a whole paragraph was tacked on to the end of a scene that should have been the first paragraph in the next scene, after the double carriage return. I don't remember the others. Not a big deal, but as a reader, I end up tripping out of the zone. [pop!]

All in all, I liked it and I'm glad I read it again. Thanks for the book loan Tom!

* IMDB says there is a sequel in the works for 2015.

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