Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange
Join us in building a kind, collaborative learning community via our updated Code of Conduct.

Isaac Asimov was an author of science fiction and popular science. His Robot series introduced the Three Laws of Robotics; he also wrote the Foundation series.

7
votes
0answers
112 views

Asimov story about an astronaut stranded on a strange planet who accidentally clones himself

I read the story many years ago and tried to find it again but I can remember very little of it. It was about an astronaut who landed on a planet and couldn't return to earth. A voice was talking ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What did Asimov think of Philip K. Dick?

I'm finishing Asimov's 1981 compilation of essays, in which he offers numerous opinions on many authors, books, and TV shows. But it puzzles me that he makes no mention of Philip K. Dick, who by that ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

What was Asimov's postcard short story?

In his note to his short story, Quarantine, Arthur C. Clarke alludes to the fact that Asimov wrote a short story that could fit on a post card. Never one to resist a challenge, the Good Doctor ...
11
votes
3answers
999 views

Is Asimov’s “The End of Eternity” time-changing model consistent?

When I think of Asimov I imagine the greatest sci-fi writer in history: Maybe this isn’t true, but I was very impressed by some of his ideas and I expect always to find great ones when I read his ...
5
votes
1answer
293 views

What Asimov's stories are referenced in the movie “I, Robot”?

I, Robot, the 2004 movie, has several references to the original stories by Isaac Asimov. While none of them are complete or true to the story, they exist. Some examples include: Little Lost Robot - ...
1
vote
0answers
111 views

Asimov's “The Complete robot” in electronic format? [closed]

Has Asimov's "The Complete Robot" been ever released as an ebook? I tried to search ebook format without any success.
2
votes
2answers
181 views

How many stories are contained in Asimov's “The Complete Robot”?

I am wondering how many stories are contained in Isaac Asimov's "The Complete Robot"?
12
votes
0answers
270 views

Story of a robot suspected of murder on a small planet (possibly Asimov)

Trying to identify a story of a robot suspected of murder on a fairly small planet. The planet was initially uninhabited. The robot suspect and the man killed were part of the same visiting ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Is the weird biology of the soft ones in The Gods Themselves a manifestation of their universe's different physics?

In The Gods Themselves, the second part deals with what are (metaphorically, at least) the gods referenced in the title. These are the soft ones and the hard ones. The soft ones have a quite unusual ...
9
votes
1answer
149 views

Sci Fi story about injecting books into kids' brains

I remember a story (by Asimov maybe?) about a future in which teaching in school is done through infusing the material into kids' brains? One kid doesn't fit in life because his brain isn't ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Why did earth stay radioactive for so long with all the people?

In "Robots and Empire," Mandalamus said that Earth would be radioactive within 20 decades (e.g. 200 years). But in "Pebble in The Sky," it was said that people still were on Earth after 9000 years! ...
7
votes
2answers
631 views

Missing Robots in Asimov's Foundation Series

It's been years since I read Asimov, but I seem to remember that when he decided to merge his Robots and his Foundation and Empire universes, he explained the relative lack of robots in the Foundation ...
51
votes
7answers
9k views

Asimov's robot and the Trolley Problem

The classic thought experiment the Trolley Problem goes something like this: A loose train trolley is barreling downhill toward five people tied up and helpless on the track ahead. You can't ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Is there any certain chronological order of all of Isaac Asimov's series, novels and short stories that Isaac Asimov himself specified? [duplicate]

Even though that there are many recommended personal reading orders about Isaac Asimov's series, novels and short stories, is there any specific chronological order which was specified by Isaac Asimov ...
4
votes
1answer
342 views

Why didn't the Foundation citizens listen to Seldon's 3rd and 4th time vault speeches?

In the Foundation series, every time there is a "Seldon Crisis", Hari Seldon appears in a Time Vault and updates the citizens of the Foundation on the latest crisis. He discusses why the last crisis ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Daneel or Giskard quote about functioning more efficiently, similar to happiness

For an article I'm writing, I'm looking for a quote from Asimov's Daneel or Giskard (I don't remember which one). In this quote, one of the robots explains that he can't feel happiness, but his ...
12
votes
1answer
341 views

Was Isaac Asimov lactose intolerant?

In "Escape!", one of the "I, Robot" stories, the robotic intelligence in the first FTL spacecraft prototype undergoes certain problems relative to the First Law and reacts to them by displaying ...
6
votes
2answers
212 views

What are the clues in Pate de Foie Gras that should enable the reader to figure out how the Goose made Au-197?

Does Isaac Asimov give enough clues in Pate de Foie Gras for the reader to figure out the series of nuclear reactions that produced the gold eggs? According to the link above: In a commentary on ...
5
votes
1answer
333 views

Parallels between Asimov's Foundation characters and real historical figures

It is widely known that one of the (main) inspirations for the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov was Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The parallels between the decline ...
19
votes
2answers
482 views

Does the Foundation from Asimov's novels have an emblem?

I'm well aware that the Galactic Empire from Isaac Asimov's has a famous emblem consisting of the "Spaceship and Sun". I was wondering if the Foundation itself1 has an equivalent emblem described or ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

Are there any resources for viewing or recreating SF planetarium shows?

Back in the 1980s, my family had a membership at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. That meant that we went to a lot of planetarium shows. Most of the shows were purely scientific, but some ...
7
votes
0answers
169 views

Find illustration of titular scene from Asimov's “The Naked Sun”

Can anyone help me find an illustration of the titular scene from Asimov's The Naked Sun when Elijah reaches out of the roof of the taxi and contemplated the naked sun as Daneel grabs him and ...
5
votes
2answers
480 views

Whose idea was The Second Foundation?

I've recently finished Prelude to Foundation last week and I clearly remember that R. Daneel Olivaw said something like: "I have another plan in another planet. It is harder and more radical ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

The Twin paradox concept in Asimov's universe [duplicate]

In the story Escape! the Brain sends Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan to space. When they get back, everything seems normal, like time has not passed since they went away. According to the Twin ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the main plot of Robbie?

Is Asimov's short story Robbie the friendly robot Robbie And that's it! Usually, these novels have a riddle about the Three Laws, and the characters have to figure out what's wrong with a robot ...
8
votes
1answer
186 views

Story identification: interactive tattoo display on forearm

Does anyone remember which novel features an interactive tattoo display on forearm? I am trying to find the book where this technology is featured. It could have either been one of Asimov's "...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

Looking for a short sf story (Analog or Asimov's) about a ?Jansen/Janson? door that one could step through into the future

The story was probably published between 1980 and early 1990s. The technology, i.e., ?Jansen or Janson? door, was named, I believe, after a lady scientist.
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does Cutie act like this and lesser robots listen to it?

In the short novel Reason, from Isaac Asimov's I-Robot we learn that the robot Cutie (QT-I) knows it will do a better job than Powel and Donovan, so it keep them locked in a room. So I wonder why it ...
6
votes
2answers
173 views

a group of people locked in a house and being observed who are actually martians

So, I read this story in high school and this is a part of a bigger story. Technically this is an excerpt. A group of people is locked in a house and they are being observed. Every day they go about ...
14
votes
1answer
326 views

Which episode is Gene Roddenberry referring to?

Gene Roddenberry and Issac Asimov had some communication after Asimov wrote some disparaging comments about the scientific accuracy of Star Trek. They eventually became firm friends and Roddenberry ...
63
votes
10answers
13k views

Which Asimov story has malevolent 3-law AI?

I'm reading some of the Q&A on Worldbuilding.se about the Control Problem (how to keep a general artificial intelligence in a box), like this one, and someone invariably touts Asimov's three laws ...
10
votes
1answer
353 views

In Asimov's The Naked Sun why didn't the Solarians use artificial insemination?

In Isaac Asimov's 1957 novel The Naked Sun it is a plot point that the inhabitants of the planet Solaria are raised to be repelled by physical contact, a fairly common theme in Asimov's work. It is ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Endless peninsula world

Trying to recall name of novella originally printed in Issac Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. The story involved a character traversing a world that consisted of a single peninsula bounded by two ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Title used for an autokrat in an Asimov story?

I recall Asimov had a character who was The autoc of , clearly based on the word “autokrat” but I don’t recall the exact spelling. This stumped Google, which would rather correct the spelling to some ...
5
votes
2answers
397 views

Why didn't Hari Seldon recognize Eto?

So, at the beginning of Prelude to Foundation, Hari meets "Chetter Hummin". He goes traipsing around Trantor with him; meeting Dors, going to the library, working for a while, going to mycogen, ...
8
votes
2answers
514 views

Does VIKI appear in Asimov's writings?

VIKI appears in the film I, Robot. (warning, spoilers in the clip) Does this character appear in any original writings from Isaac Asimov or was she purely a ...
7
votes
1answer
249 views

Does Baleyworld feature in any of the Foundation Series books (perhaps under a different name)?

Does Baleyworld (from Robots and Empire) feature in any of the Foundation Series books (perhaps under a different name)?
8
votes
1answer
427 views

Why is Trantor so metropolitan with such a low population density?

The opening chapters of Asimov's Foundation characterize Trantor as being a dense, highly-populated city, to the point that it's almost exclusively indoors and extends a mile underground. But in the ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

Did other writers adopt Asimov's concepts and terminology for changing time?

Summary: Did Asimov's time travel novel The End of Eternity influence other writers? In 1954, Isaac Asimov took a rejected short story and turned it into the clever time travel novel The End of ...
22
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is Trantor, from Asimov's Foundation, all underground?

Is there a reason given as to why Trantor is completely underground? Seems like would be a huge waste of space for it. I know there are 40+ billion people there, but would think a planet sized city ...
2
votes
2answers
712 views

Did Isaac Asimov give two or more unrelated characters the same name component in any of his science fiction stories?

In his stories, Isaac Asimov avoided giving common real world names to his characters, instead most of the time he invented new names or new spellings to existing names. This gave us lots of ...
2
votes
2answers
507 views

What's the “great catastrophe” in Asimov's books? [closed]

What is the great catastrophe in Asimov's books? I'd also like to know where you found out what it is. I've read his collection of short stories, and it's not mentioned what this catastrophe was. Or ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

In Asimov's robot story “Liar!”, why does Dr. Calvin show no mercy for Herbie?

In the story "Liar!", when Dr. Calvin figures out why Herbie was acting the way he was, she But as she's doing this, Herbie pleads for her to stop because he had to lie in order to obey the First ...
3
votes
1answer
807 views

Story of Bayta Darell and The Mule in Asimov's Foundation Series

To my knowledge, I have "read" all of the Foundation books, however I "read" (heard) them in audiobook format, out of sequence, and over the course of 5 years. I am re-reading Second Foundation and am ...
9
votes
1answer
433 views

Was Arthur C. Clarke ribbing Isaac Asimov in Childhood's End?

A quote from the book: A society consists of human beings whose behavior as individuals is unpredictable. But if one takes enough of the basic units, then certain laws begin to appear – as was ...
5
votes
2answers
926 views

When did Asimov decide to unify the Foundation and Robots series?

Originally Isaac Asimov's Robots and Foundation series were separate entities, but were later unified. The first book in which I remember the connection being made clear was Foundation and Earth (1986)...
2
votes
1answer
802 views

Was the foresight from the spice in Dune series inspired by psychohistory in Foundation?

Foundation (by Isaac Asimov) was published in 1951, and primarily dealt with psychohistory, a branch of mathematics that laid down all the probable paths splitting off from a point and the percentage ...
5
votes
0answers
492 views

Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics in Application

The blurb on the back of my copy of Asimov's The Complete Robot includes Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics were programmed into computers thirty years ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ...
2
votes
1answer
437 views

Searching for a short story against entropy [duplicate]

I'm trying to identify a short story which I recall reading many years ago. A series (i think) progressing into the future, similar to Harry Harrisons "One step from earth" but details the progress ...
7
votes
2answers
262 views

Voice control (speech recognition) of robots in Asimov stories

I remember I read a nice short story by Asimov from the Robot series, where a robot misinterpreted some voice command and did some witty things instead. I think it was Daneel Olivaw. However, that was ...