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review 2017-12-14 02:24
In one human's lifetime
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

Well, that ended on an eerie note. And dovetails nicely into Foundation I guess (I'm always telling myself I have to read it, and balk at the commitment). Also, extra points for... is it irony? I mean, given who (and what) are the ones having this "laying it out and guessing" chat, and who each blame, and which is in favor? O maybe it is "discomfiting" the word I'm wanting.

 

This is an excellent collection that delves into different aspects on the overarching theme of Robot/human interaction, and goes for a variety of moods too. The thread is Susan Calvin on her interview, who, in her own words

 

saw it from the beginning, when the poor robots couldn’t speak, to the end

 

(And boy, do I have feelings about that one! My great-grandma was born in 1920, saw the advent of radio, cars and cinema into sleepy little towns, TV, PC's, and by the time she died in 2010, chatted on Skype with her daughter)

 

I had read many of the stories before, but the arrangement lends them extra weight with it's overarching view. As for each, there is for every taste, from the heartwarming, and the harrowing, often times ridiculous, hilarious (Powell and Donovan kept reminding me of my programmer brother whenever he's at testing stage), to the heartbreaking, disturbing and, like I started, discomfiting.

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text 2017-12-14 01:06
Reading progress update: I've read 230 out of 256 pages.
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

Ching Hso-lin’s great-grandfather had been killed in the Japanese invasion of the old Chinese Republic, and there had been no one besides his dutiful children to mourn his loss or even to know he was lost. Ching Hso-lin’s grandfather had survived the civil war of the late forties, but there had been no one besides his dutiful children to know or care of that.

And yet Ching Hso-lin was a Regional Vice-Co-ordinator, with the economic welfare of half the people of Earth in his care.

Perhaps it was with the thought of all that in mind, that Ching had two maps as the only ornaments on the wall of his office. One was an old hand-drawn affair tracing out an acre or two of land, and marked with the now outmoded pictographs of old China. A little creek trickled aslant the faded markings and there were the delicate pictorial indications of lowly huts, in one of which Ching’s grandfather had been born.

The other map was a huge one, sharply delineated, with all markings in neat Cyrillic characters. The red boundary that marked the Eastern Region swept within its grand confines all that had once been China, India, Burma, Indo-China, and Indonesia. On it, within the old province of Szechuan, so light and gentle that none could see it, was the little mark placed there by Ching which indicated the location of his ancestral farm.

 

A tiny dot that none can see... I think this here is why I love Asimov so much: make it about robots, take it as far into the futuristic sci-fi territory as you wish or can, and it'll still be about being human.

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text 2017-12-13 02:50
Reading progress update: I've read 170 out of 256 pages.
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

"... meanwhile we’ll let The Brain build its ship. And if it does build it, we’ll have to test it.”
He was ruminating, “We’ll need our top field men for that.”


Michael Donovan...

 

Queue laughter. If Susan Calvin freaking out wasn't clue enough, now we have those two Murphy's beloved involved.

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text 2017-12-12 16:31
Reading progress update: I've read 80 out of 256 pages.
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

Because you and I have been so injudicious as to display proficiency at the task, we’ve been rewarded with the dirtiest jobs.

 

Seriously, Powell and Donovan are a riot.

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text 2017-12-12 15:03
Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 256 pages.
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov

I read "Runaround" before from another collection I own, but I'd forgotten how much dry humor those guys roll out as they get stressed. I keep laughing in surprise.

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