Mirror Image (short story)
|Genre(s)||Science fiction short story|
|Published in||Analog Science Fiction and Fact|
|Publication date||May 1972|
|Preceded by||The Naked Sun|
|Followed by||The Robots of Dawn|
"Mirror Image" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov, originally published in the May 1972 issue Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and collected in The Best of Isaac Asimov (1973), The Complete Robot (1982), Robot Visions (1990), and The Complete Stories, Volume 2 (1992).
After having received numerous requests to continue the story of detective Elijah Baley and his robot partner R. Daneel Olivaw, featured in his earlier novels The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun, Asimov wrote this short detective story. After the story appeared, he received several letters from readers, all of whom said, "Thanks, but we wanted another novel".
Baley is unexpectedly contacted by Daneel to help resolve an authorship dispute between two Spacer scientists. Being Spacers, neither scientist is willing to allow himself to be interrogated by an Earthman, but they are willing to allow Baley to interrogate their personal robots. The two robots are the same model, and their stories are mirror images of each other: each one insists that his own master came up with a key scientific insight, and that the other scientist is falsely trying to lay claim to it. Clearly, one of the robots is telling the truth, while the other has been ordered by its master to lie. Baley must use the Three Laws of Robotics and his own knowledge of robot nature to determine which is which. But the answer really comes down to his knowledge of human nature.
The Naked Sun
The Complete Robot
The Robots of Dawn