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Extended Audio Sample I, Robot Audiobook, by Isaac Asimov Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00001185761377 out of 54.00001185761377 out of 54.00001185761377 out of 54.00001185761377 out of 54.00001185761377 out of 5 4.00 (84,334 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Isaac Asimov Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9780739312711
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The three laws of Robotics:
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 givein 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.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future—a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov’s trademark.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aaron | 2/11/2014

    " An important work in science fiction, it's worth reading for seeing the genesis of so many interesting ideas. But as a source of entertainment the book is kind of meh. The writing isn't that great, most of the characters are pretty one dimensional. I could see it being a decent enough introduction to science fiction for a young reader, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik | 1/30/2014

    " Excellent sci-fi. Way better and wayyyy different from the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Abel | 1/25/2014

    " This was the very first science fiction book that I read as a youngster, and although much of it feels a bit old fashioned, I love it just as much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivan | 1/18/2014

    " Isaac Asimov was the first sci-fi author I read. I believe his robot novels, especially the short stories in "I, Robot" inspired me to become a programmer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly | 1/14/2014

    " I, Robot is a sequence of loosely connected short stories written in 1950 that take place in a "future" world (where the future is the 1990's and 2000's). The premise of the story collection is that a longtime "robot psychologist" of the main robotics company is about to retire and is being interviewed for human interest stories about her varied experiences with robots. In Asimov's future, humans invented the "positronic brain" and used this technology to create robots that are in some sense a better version of humanity, yet subservient to humanity. The positronic brain encodes three main laws, in order of importance: first, that robots cannot harm humans or allow them to come to harm, second, that they must carry out orders that humans give them, and third, that they must endeavor to prevent harm to themselves. The title, to me, indicates the heart of Asimov's idea of AI technology: all of the robots in the story have feelings, thoughts, emotions, and a strong sense of self-identity. Each story centers around a typically problematic interaction between a robot and its human keepers. I read this when I was a lot younger, and although I didn't precisely dislike it, I never had any particular interest in reading other books by Asimov. Scifi, of course, quickly becomes dated. Asimov's imagining of his future is radically different from reality. To me, it feels a bit like one of the original Star Trek episodes: fairly soaked with optimism at the abilities of man, drenched in idealism, and so absolutely earnest that it always strikes me as a little sad. It's always interesting to compare the imagined future with actuality, and although I think Asimov was much more perceptive than many of his fellows, his own biases come through clearly. War has apparently been abolished in this shiny new world, but America ("The North") is still the superior economic and social powerhouse. Engineering and mathematics are heavily male-dominated, and the single woman mentioned is also described as pathetic, robotic, cold, and having sacrificed her femininity for "masculine" analytical prowess. I think I also had a viscerally negative reaction to Asimov's characterization of Dr. Calvin, the solitary female. One of the stories is a rather gruesome representation of the scientist/spinster and her secret love for a younger man. It is portrayed as pitiful, pathetic, and ghoulish, and my knee-jerk reaction to it was anger. Even though I was in early highschool when I read it, maybe (cough) it struck me personally. If even one other woman had been positively portrayed, if there appeared to be any way in this world for a woman to be intelligent and not a pathetic little romantic internally, I don't think my reaction would have been as strong. At the same time, I think Asimov's take on the dynamics between humans and robotics--both the paranoia and disdain that stems from a hidden sense of inferiority--is fascinating. I find it especially intriguing given that this is from the 1950s, robots are used as servants/slaves to their self-proclaimed betters, and the humans refer to their robots by first name or by diminutives such as "boy"--sound familiar? What I've always been left unsure about is whether or not this was an intentional commentary on race, and if so, what Asimov's conclusions actually were. Other than this extremely interesting ambiguity, I think the reason that I never really got into these stories was their sheer earnestness. I remember finding all the stories bizarre because Asimov totally avoids the standard AI robot scifi trope: his robots are always benevolent and well-intentioned towards humanity. The First Law is paramount, and despite human fears to the contrary, while the robots make take over, they have humanity's best interests at heart. There is so clearly a "lesson" for us in each one, an obvious angle where our brains are supposed to be stretched, and that's not my favourite type of storytelling. Thinking back over it, it is very reminiscent of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but to me at least, seems much more direct and simplistic. Overall, an interesting read both for diehard scifi fans and for individuals interested in what the 1950s view of the future was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ribonuke | 1/8/2014

    " The robot dialogue in this was amazing, and I really liked how everything was based around these three rules. Interested in finishing the rest of the season because this book had nothing to do with the movie (or vice versa, rather). Incredibly ahead of its time as far as describing a futuristic environment. 60 years ago, and still incredibly convincing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cory Shankman | 1/2/2014

    " A great collection of entertaining and thoughtful science fiction stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam Halliwell | 12/29/2013

    " This is one of my favorite books. It's a collection of short stories that tie together. The stories are basically logic puzzles that try to figure out why certain robots are behaving differently. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah Abram | 12/25/2013

    " It's interesting... Suprisingly liked movie better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terrance Riley | 12/16/2013

    " Asimov was the inventor of the modern robot archetype. Without him robots would be simply machines. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh Reinhard | 12/10/2013

    " Decent read, but kinda boring. The movie had absolutely NOTHING to do with the book, and I think that's a good thing. The movie was much better. Each chapter is a different story and they all seem a bit disjointed. No real climax to the book. It just ends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Declan | 11/22/2013

    " I fine collection of stories of a standard that one would expect from the master of sci-fi. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Balint Erdi | 10/24/2013

    " Each short story tells a peculiar and intriguing situation that arises from the Three Laws of Robotics. Very well thought out and entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edgar | 11/6/2012

    " This book was fantastic although don't think it is exactly like the movie because it has a wide variety of stories like the scientist whose robot went crazy and the girl who had a robot as a pet instead of a dog or a cat. Real good book though you wont read many like this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron Sikes | 4/20/2012

    " This classic definitely earned its place in the canon. So many different perspectives surrounding the speculation about humanity's inevitable relationship with robots. Vastly different from the movie of the same name, which touches only briefly on one of the stories Asimov tells. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K.D. | 1/18/2012

    " Fantastic. Having studied physics as well, this was was written by a scientist, very well written, brilliant concept, logical enunciation of what I imagined robotic laws should be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Bradford | 9/23/2011

    " A creative and intelligent piece of classic science fiction. And there wasn't even any Converse product placement or shitty Will Smith one-liners or anything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ndfi | 5/24/2011

    " Interesting. A lot of Asimov's stories will become true if human race lasts long enough "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paraskevi | 5/24/2011

    " I love Isaac Asimov, and his Robots have some of the best stories. The Susan Calvin stories I found to be the best ones. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 5/19/2011

    " A really good read, full of futuristic imagination, for something published in 1950 - the reason I wanted to read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 5/6/2011

    " It's amazing to think someone could come up with these concepts only a few decades after the Wright brothers. It is also amazing that an author can invent a concept (the three laws of robotics) that is so obvious once written that other writers refer to that concept as a given in their own work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ken | 5/4/2011

    " Clever stories I suppose but the book did not really catch my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 4/28/2011

    " I really enjoyed this one - I had heard it was nothing like the movie and so I was somewhat prepared but I didn't think the only thing it would have in common was that there are robots present and the title.

    Still - I think it would be a good book to reread at some point. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Betty | 4/25/2011

    " Could not read this book either, another Trenton's Book Club choices. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shoebox22 | 4/17/2011

    " The Three Laws of Robotics starts here. Don't just think this is the movie of the same name. Asimov opens his bag of positronic tricks and each short story is a jewel of its own. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrey | 4/11/2011

    " Lovely.
    Throughout all the stories in the book, just as narrator does, I found myself really compassionate with these absolutely logical and rational creations, which are being constantly blamed by creators for mistakes of their own.
    How human. "

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About the Author
Author Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov (1920–1992) was born in the Soviet Union and came to the United States in 1923. He earned his PhD in chemistry in 1948, and in 1958 became a full-time writer. His writings include the Foundation Trilogy; I, Robot; Tomorrow’s Children; and numerous works of nonfiction touching on a range of scientific topics. Among his accolades are six Hugo awards, a SFWA Grand Master Award, and high praise from such luminaries as Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, and Gene Roddenberry.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.