The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov

I've been going through "The Complete Robot" by Isaac Asimov. This is a huge anthology of his robot stories. The classic stories are all here and a few that I hadn't heard before.

I haven't made it all the way through yet, but it got me thinking about the movie "I, Robot" and what it was that ultimately disappointed me so much about the movie.

The thing about "I, Robot" is that it came close to an actual movie about Asimovian robots.  It had the right names, and it had the laws, it even understood how to use the laws. And the idea of robots taking the idea of the first law to extend to all humanity and not the individual is in Asmovs work. The problem is that by making your first story about them basically ignoring the laws it makes them useless.

The thing about Asimov's work is that robots were almost never the villains.  They couldn't be because they were controlled by the three laws. Something else was usually the problem and the robots were the key to the solution, so having a movie based on an Asimov story where robots are the only villain just feels wrong.

So, had they shown more robots acting like Asimov wrote robots earlier in the movie I would have been happier with them being more of a villain later. I'm still not sure I would have liked having Will Smith using a cybernetic arm but that was a minor quibble.

I still think that many of the stories in these would be far better movies than the one they made, and I strongly suggest that anyone who has ever read Asimov read "The Complete Robot" You'll find all the stories you love and a few you likely havn't seen before.

Picture by Davsc