The Rest of the Robots

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The Rest of the Robots
TheRestOfTheRobots.jpg
First edition
Author Isaac Asimov
Cover artist Thomas Chibbaro
Country United States
Language English
Series Robot series
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
1964
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 556 pp

The Rest of the Robots (1964) is a collection of eight short stories and two full-length novels by Isaac Asimov. The stories, centred on positronic robots, are all part of the Robot series, most of which take place in the Foundation universe. Another collection of short stories about robots, I, Robot, was re-published in the previous year, which is why Asimov chose to title the collection as The Rest of the Robots. None of the short stories in this collection were in I, Robot, however all of them were later included in The Complete Robot, and both novels about Elijah Baley were also published separately.

The texts in the collection were grouped into 4 chapters, differentiating their central themes. The first chapter, The Coming of the Robots, included some of Asimov's earliest robot stories, where the Three Laws of Robotics were not yet explicitly defined. The following chapter, The Laws of Robotics, included stories that were written after the explicit formulation of the three laws, however both stories include elements that place them outside the Foundation universe. In the story "First Law", aliens and direct disobedience of the First Law of Robotics are described, while in the other story, "Let's Get Together", robots are used as weapons in the Cold War. The story "Victory Unintentional" in the first chapter also falls outside the Foundation canon, due to the mention of aliens.

The third chapter, Susan Calvin includes stories where robopsychologist Dr. Susan Calvin makes an appearance. These four stories are representative of Asimov's robot short stories, following his traditional themes of aversion and distrust of robots by the general public and issues arising from the robots' interpretation of the Three Laws. The final chapter, Lije Baley, consists of the two novels with detective Elijah Baley, whom Asimov affectionately calls Lije.

While the original hardcover edition of this book included the two novels, some paperback editions have included only the eight short stories. Some of these shorter paperback editions, but not all, have been called Eight Stories from the Rest of the Robots.

In 2002, the story "Satisfaction Guaranteed" was adapted for the BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play slot.

Contents[edit]

Reception[edit]

Algis Budrys praised the collection as "a fine book of entertainment," but faulted Asimov's extensive annotations, saying they "[suck] the juice out of some very vivacious writing indeed, and [embalm] one of science fiction's most ebullient personalities."[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Galaxy Bookshelf," Galaxy, June 1965, pp.166-67.
Preceded by:

I, Robot

Robot series
Foundation Series
Followed by:

The Complete Robot