Thursday, January 5, 2012

I, Robot: to protect

I, Robot: to protect is an excellent revisiting of the world that Isaac Asimov created.  Those of us who remember the awe and fascination with robots that the great man created in his readers are thrilled that Dr. Mickey Zucker Reichert has devoted her creative skills to playing in that universe.  The onerous procedure of becoming an accredited physician is touched upon (although it seems that in the future there is some improvement in the ridiculously intense scheduling wrought upon interns and residents) and the joys and heartbreaks of dealing with the lives that are changed by diagnoses and treatments is described.  There are fascinating psychological and medical pediatric cases examined in addition to the exploration of the assets and fears engendered by the presence of an entity with artificial intelligence.  Some of the thorny logic problems posed by 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 any 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") are explored with interesting ramifications postulated.  A great start to an intriguing series.  My review at Night Owl is at this link

It's amazing what memories this book brought back as I went through an intense period of time when I voraciously read the works of Asimov, Heinlein, Norton, Silverberg, Clarke, Zelazny, and others.  It was remarkable to think of life on the moon, time-travel, grokking, and all of those other mind-stretching concepts.  We have made incredible strides since then...hopefully we will continue to advance and not stagnate in place while we play petty games and forget what accomplishments we can achieve if we cooperate with each other.


  1. I remember reading those authors too. did you see the movie I Robot?

  2. I didn't see that one, saw Bicentennial Man (with Robin Williams) and wasn't as pleased with that one as I could have been. What did you think about the movie?

  3. I loved I, Robot. Thought it was really, really good and could easily watch it again. I saw Bicentennial Man too when it came out and thought it was aimed at kids more than adults and that's probably why I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.