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After completing the Foundation series of novels by Asimov, I planned to read the Robot series.

When placing my order online, I found that some novels and stories are included in others. (For example, Naked Sun is present in The Rest of the Robots, and there is I, Robot and Complete Robots which have similar stories.)

Please help me how to select the books. (Are the Naked Sun and Caves of Steel in The Rest of the Robots completely the same as individual copy?) (Which is the complete one without any missing stories - I, Robot or Complete Robots or the The Rest of the Robots?)

What is the minimal set of books that contains a complete set of stories with minimal duplication?

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    Why don't you head over to isfdb.org and just look up the books you want to buy? – Valorum Dec 23 '14 at 10:12
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    Why is this being flagged for closure? Change "buying order" to "reading order" and everyone would defend it. – phantom42 Dec 23 '14 at 11:49
  • @phantom42 - because they're not after reading order, they want to know which anthologies to buy. Lists of works are specifically of topic. – Valorum Dec 23 '14 at 13:37
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    @Richard They're asking which anthologies overlap. This is really no different than asking about the overlap of the Clone Wars properties. Phrase it as "Which books do I read to prevent overlap" and it's on topic, but ask "which books do I buy to prevent overlap" and it's off topic? – phantom42 Dec 23 '14 at 13:45
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    asimovreviews.net tells which books contain which stories – b_jonas Dec 23 '14 at 18:13
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If you want to read the Robot novels that pertain to Foundation (there are several others that are not part of that continuity) then here's a rough guide in chronological order:

  1. I, Robot: a collection of short stories that chronicle the rise of roboticism on Earth. While the stories contained in this anthology can be found in others (mainly the larger The Complete Robot), what makes this anthology unique is that it covers only the Foundation continuity stories and it uses a Susan Calvin framing narrative that connects all the stories together not found in other anthologies.

  2. The Rest of the Robots: Is the logical continuation to I, Robot. It has a few more Susan Calvin stories and does indeed have the full text of the first two Elijah Baley novels The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.

  3. The Robots of Dawn: The third and last Elijah Baley novel, and as far as I know has always been published as a standalone book and never as part of an anthology.

  4. Robots and Empire: Bridges the previously disconnected Robot and Foundation universes. Also a standalone book.

Additional Material:

  • The Complete Robot has all the Asimov Robot short stories (but not novels) contained in I, Robot and The Rest of the Robots plus a few more.

  • Robot Dreams is an illustrated version of several of the previously collected Robot stories, plus one short story written specifically for this book and shares its title.

  • Robot Visions also contains previously published stories in addition to essays by Asimov on robots and one short story written specifically for the book that also shares the title of the anthology.

  • Gold is an anthology of unreleased short stories that was published after Asimov's death. It contains two Robot stories not found in other collections: Cal and Kid Brother.

  • The Positronic Man is a novel co-written with Robert Silverberg and is an expanded version of the novella The Bicentennial Man (which you can find in The Complete Robot among others). The Robin Williams movie Bicentennial Man is based on this story.

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