Title: I, Robot
Author: Isaac Asimov
Page Count/Review Word Count: 249
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 the 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.
Yes, it’s that book, and despite the fact that my copy has a photo of Will Smith on the cover, it bears little in common with the Hollywood film of the same name. Asimov’s short story collection, set in the not too distant future, shows how humanity harnesses the power of robotics to explore the solar system.
Unfortunately, rules can always be broken, and Asimov explores some of the different scenarios in which robots can break the rules, putting human lives in danger. The scenarios are all too real, too – if you can suspend your disbelief to believe in the narrative, you’ll begin to see how these foolproof laws might actually not be so foolproof.
Asimov’s writing is easy-to-read and believable, and strong enough to make me want to read another of his books, of which there are many to choose from. You’ll probably see another Isaac Asimov review on SocialBookshelves.com in the future – in the meantime, grab yourself a copy of I, Robot.