The stories all take place in our present time or the future, and are all linked together through their connection to Susan Calvin, born in 1982. She is a "Robopsychologist" and sees that through the years robots are actually evolving into Cylons. Well, I call them Cylons. Everyone around her sees them only as machines.
The Three Laws of Robotics are programmed into each robot. They are:
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 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.
Almost every story deals with how The Three Laws of Robotics are misinterpreted by robots or cause robots to malfunction. One of my favorites is when a scientist tells a robot, "Get lost," and how the robot deals with that command while also following The Three Laws of Robotics.
I liked this book but it won't make it on my Favorites list this year. I think I prefer watching Sci-Fi to reading it because movie makers often have a better imagination than I do when it comes to dreaming up space stations and things. However, I got a kick out of reading what Mr. Asimov envisioned 2012 would look like, and I still plan to read Foundation. I also got a lot of enjoyment out of reading this after Curiosity first landed. I pretended the two scientists found in most of the stories, Michael Donovan and Gregory Powell, were Bobak Ferdowsi and Steve Collins.
As a side note, I also loved it when one of my favorite Louis Armstrong songs made a cameo appearance in Escape! Please ignore the slide show that has nothing to do with the song:
This book fulfills my Science Fiction requirement for the Eclectic Reader Challenge. It is also on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list.