Isaac Asimov's Robot Series

shelved under Sci Fi & Fantasy

Of course there's no settling the argument definitively, but many consider Isaac Asimov the most important sci-fi writer in Science Fiction. I know that for me, one of the touchstones in my Flashlight Worthy reading was reading Asimov's I, Robot and marveling over the complexity of the sci-fi stories he was able to wring out of those 3 seemingly simple Laws of Robotics.

Below are the 4 volumes of his Robot series — classic sci-fi books — as well as his two definitive collections of robot stories.


Caves of Steel (First of the first "Elijah Baley" Trilogy - 1954)

by Isaac Asimov

BunRab/Kelly from Baltimore, MD says:

This is as much a murder mystery as it is science fiction - and it's also a good chunk of sociology: what sort of habits do people adopt when there are tens of billions of them on the planet, cheek by jowl? The characters are more fully realized than in some of Asimov's books that tend to concentrate mainly on plot and science — both Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw are great characters.


The Naked Sun (Second of the Trilogy - 1957)

by Isaac Asimov

Gordon Mayer says:

I originally read this when I was 13 and I still own it years later, for once-a-decade re-reading. It's detective-story-meets-'50s-sci-fi, and the kind of book that made Isaac Asimov a great. A detective, Lije Bailey, is called from overcrowded, all-urban earth to solve a crime on the wealthy but underpopulated planet of Solaria — there are so few people there they don't have crime or cops. R. Daneel Olivaw — the "r" is for robot — is his sidekick. There's a woman involved. The murder mystery is solved, the Three Laws of Robotics (one of Asimov's classic contributions to sci-fi) are invoked... it's a period piece but still a page turner!


The Robots of Dawn (Third of the Trilogy - 1983)

by Isaac Asimov

Rob Jones from Vancouver. BC says:

If you're not sold on SF and you like murder mysteries, you've found you're book. I read this years ago, and it's highly memorable. Often in science-fiction,writers fall into the trap of concentrating on the concepts rather than on the characters. Asimov doesn't and there are real relationships to be observed here. Totally worth reading.


The Rest of the Robots (8 short stories and 2 robot-oriented novels - 1964)

by Isaac Asimov

This companion volume to I, Robot is a collection of short stories in classic Asimov style. A must-have for fans.


I, Robot

by Isaac Asimov

Tristan Colson says:

The original robot stories from Isaac Asimov, complete with the Three Rules of Robotics. Don't even talk to me about this movie, either. It had the same name, but that was about it.

This book also appears on 6 Classic Sci-Fi Books You Should Read


And for those looking for a refresher in those Laws of Robotics, here you go:

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 to 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.