Tag: Human

Isaac Asimov – The Bicentennial Man | Review

Title: The Bicentennial Man

Author: Isaac Asimov

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 256

Rating: 4.5/5

What we have here is another cracking little collection of Isaac Asimov’s short stories, along with Asimov’s introductions to the stories for a little additional context. There were actually one or two here that I’d already read and so I skipped past those, although I did read the introductory essays as they were different.

I’ve also read a full length novel that Asimov co-wrote with Robert Silverberg and which is based on the titular short story here, but it was nice to go back to the original. I also heard that Asimov wasn’t really involved in the novel, which I can believe because it was published not long before he died.

Asimov’s short story collections are always a lot of fun, and while I’m still yet to find one that’s as good as I Robot, I can’t exactly be mad about it because that book is a masterpiece. I love Asimov’s work and I love the way that he sets up his three laws of robotics only to knock them down again by looking at the different ways in which they can be subverted.

That means reading Asimov feels like so much more than simply enjoying a little science fiction escapism. It’s almost philosophical, and it asks the reader a lot of questions about what it means to be human, as well as what it means to be a robot. I’d definitely recommend picking it up.

Learn more about The Bicentennial Man.

 


Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg – The Positronic Man | Review

Title: The Positronic Man

Author: Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 226

Rating: 4.25/5

When I ordered this book online, I didn’t realise that it was co-written and thought that it was just an Asimov novel. Then, when I picked it up, I was wondering whether I’d be able to tell which author wrote which parts based upon their voices. That didn’t really happen, and it just read like Asimov’s novels.

I believe it’s also based on Bicentennial Man, which I think I’ve read at some point, but it was long enough ago that I couldn’t remember anything. That meant that other than knowing that it was a robot novel, I went in pretty blind.

That’s actually not a bad shout, and I can give you the information you’ll need to decide whether to read it without too many spoilers. It basically follows a robot who starts to take on ever more human qualities and who eventually tries to prove to the world that he’s a person, even while admitting he’s not a human.

The most interesting parts here are the bits which deal with morality and questions of what exactly it is that makes someone human. That’s where Asimov is at his best, and he really shines here even if it’s actually Silverberg. It doesn’t matter.

Learn more about The Positronic Man.