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Questions tagged [isaac-asimov]

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.

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What order should Asimov's Foundation series be read in?

I believe that Asimov himself recommended reading them in chronological order, however I read them in the order that they were published and think that this is the best way to do it. What is the ...
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What prevents Asimov's robots from locking all humans in padded cells for the humans protection?

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Since Asimov's robots are already shown as not possessing "human common sense" when applying the ...
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Can you tell my robot to kill itself? (Three Laws)

In the worlds of Asimov's robots, what's to stop a bunch of vandal humans from going around telling robots to destroy themselves? According to the Second Law, they would have to obey. Here's a ...
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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 ...
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What is the Positronic brain coined by Asimov?

What exactly is the Positronic brain coined by Asimov? I encountered this term several times without having a clear understand of what it means and what "positronic" mainly means. Can you clarify ...
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Asimov - Start with Foundation or Robots

I want to start and (this time) finish the two Asimov series I have: the Foundation books (Trilogy in fact) and the Robots cycle. Is there a particular order between those two series or are they ...
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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 ...
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What is the chronological order of the novels in Asimov's Foundation series?

I've been meaning to read the Foundation series but haven't quite been able to figure out which book to read first. Does anyone know the correct chronological order of the books in the series? Are ...
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Let There Be Light Story Identification

I am looking to identify a story that I read around 2001 (it is probably much older). Someone showed me the story on pages printed from the internet, and it was attributed to Isaac Asimov (although I ...
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When does the copyright on Isaac Asimov's works expire?

I read in another answer that Fox produced the film I, Robot because they had just acquired the rights to the Asimov collection and wanted to get a big budget movie out of it. I would have thought his ...
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Classified project during WWII involving Asimov and Heinlein

During WWII, a group of science fiction writers, Robert Heinlein & Isaac Asimov prominent among them, were involved in a classified project for the US government. Isaac Asimov mentioned this ...
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Can a robot programed with 3 laws operating system harm a human who is harming another human?

We see that a robot can attack another robot in defense of a human, but can a 3 Laws programed robot defend one human from another human?
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Why didn't humans try to settle other galaxies?

In Isaac Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation series, humans, during their second colonization wave, settled (probably) all the inhabitable worlds in the Galaxy, but no more. They did not, as far as I can ...
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Does Data adhere to the Three Laws of Robotics?

I'm trying to think of times when Data broke the 3LR, but I can't think of any outside of the episode of Clues in TNG. But I also don't remember any mention of the 3LR by Data or Soong. Is Data able ...
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What short story has an old programmer about to lose his job who triggers a Trojan Horse that only he can fix?

I remember reading a short story many years ago (1980s) about an old computer programmer who was about to be forced into mandatory retirement. After receiving the news from his boss he returns to his ...
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What is the correct order for reading material of Isaac Asimov?

This question has been asked for the Foundation and the Robot series.. but I wanted to know if there are other works of Asimov that should be read in a particular order, so that I don't read the ...
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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 ...
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What's with the word “sardonic” in sci-fi?

OK, this is going to seem to be either a ridiculous question or there is something there. I have noticed that Asimov is a huge fan of the word "sardonic". Maybe it's just that I notice it because I ...
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Story where a 0 - law of robotics is introduced (the good of humanity)

I read a story which should should have been published at least 40 years ago, which was probably (though I'm not absolutely sure) Asimov's. The book tells the story of - beware, spoilers ahead - I ...
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A story mentioning Isaac Asimov as a character

I've been trying to remember a story in which robots (or more likely people) in far future try to build a time machine. In the end they seem to send an assassin to kill Isaac Asimov so that he couldn'...
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Story about a world where darkness drives people mad

I remember reading a short sci-fi story, perhaps 50 pages or so long, whose name I don't recall. The details of the story are: It is about a world with multiple suns that keep the planet in ...
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What was Asimov's contribution to real-world robotics?

Isaac Asimov is one of the (if not the most) important figures of robotics in science fiction. Has he had an influence on the development of real-world robotics (in science or industry)?
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Short story, possibly Asimov, about an engineer sabotaging a floating city's engines, causing it to crash on Earth and killing everyone on board

This short story is about an engineer who sabotages the engines on a floating city where the rich and well-to-do live apart from normal humanity causing it to crash on Earth killing everyone on board.....
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Are The Three Laws of Robotics explicitly defined in one of the Asimov's stories?

I want to know if The Three Laws of Robotics are explicitly defined in one of the Asimov's robot stories. In which one? I am asking this question because I remember reading something about the laws ...
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What was Isaac Asimov's view of history?

DISCLAIMER: this is most definitely subjective and argumentative, but I've always wanted a place to ask this question, and now finally there is one. Also, this is one of the example questions I ...
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Short story about astronauts landing on a planet of shapeshifters

I'm trying to find an English-language short story I read in a collection about five to ten years ago (I don't have any idea of the original publication date). Here's everything I remember: The ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Title of short story: God granting immortality to others to find a way to kill himself

I am looking for a short story I read a long time ago. In it, a man dies and finds himself in a dark and featureless afterlife with a disembodied voice that calls itself god. That god reveals that ...
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Asimov's laws in pseudocode or applying the 3 laws today [closed]

I first asked this at Writers.SE but was advised I might do better here... I am working on a science fiction novel that will involve a large quantity and variety of synthetic life forms. I have been ...
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Degree of collaboration between Asimov and Silverberg on Nightfall novel?

Is there any reliable information as to the depth of Isaac Asimov's involvement in writing the novel Nightfall (based on Asimov's 1941 short story) with Robert Silverberg? Were Asimov and Silverberg ...
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Are the 4th and 5th extensions to the 3 Laws of Robotics validated by Asimov?

Wikipedia cites extensions by other authors to the canonical "Three laws" as follows There are two Fourth Laws written by authors other than Asimov. The 1974 Lyuben Dilov novel Icarus's Way (a.k....
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Isaac Asimov story featuring the end of the world [closed]

I'm looking for a short story in which a group is told that if they build a machine the world will end and they build it anyway. The world ends. I'm almost positive it's an Isaac Asimov story.
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What did the “Big Three” think of each other's work?

Do we know what the Big Three (Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein) thought of each other's writing? Did they have any favorite works of each other?
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Other SF work that uses Psychohistory concepts?

I have a vivid memory of something similar to Psychohistory being used in either a TV show or movie (most likely TV). Earth is taken over by a totalitarian government (or alien), and two characters ...
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Why do some people include Nemesis and End of Eternity in the Foundation Universe?

I've been reading Isaac Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation series recently as I hadn't read all of the books Asimov wrote within the series (I've been reading them chronologically starting with The ...
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What was the most important thing of all that Hari Seldon wished to tell Daneel?

In Asimov's Forward the Foundation Hari Seldon's last encounter with the robot Daneel Olivaw is below: Seldon stood there for a few minutes after Daneel had gone, lost in thought. Suddenly he began ...
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Are there robots with female characteristics in Isaac Asimov's stories?

Are there any robots with female looks, personality, or at least name?
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Starship-and-Sun logo of the Galactic Empire - Foundation series

I have a rather obscure question about the 'Starship-and-Sun' logo of the Galactic Empire from the Foundation Series of books by Isaac Asimov. Is there an official logo that was produced by Asimov ...
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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 ...
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What was Isaac Asimov's first work?

I am wondering if Isaac Asimov's first work was published. Is it a short story or novel? Why he want to wrote scifi. Is it published in a book or in a magazine or elsewhere? When did he write it? If ...
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One person election gets to vote for the president, by Isaac Asimov

I read a short story, by Isaac Asimov, I believe, in which the presidential election process is so far calculated that it only takes one person to vote. I would LOVE to know the name of this short ...
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Why did Asimov feature fear of contact so often in his work?

There is an very common occurring theme in Asimov's work: an obsessive need not to touch people considered unclean, sometimes justified sometimes not. Examples: 1) The Caves of Steel (Robots series):...
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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 ...
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Which episode is Gene Roddenberry referring to?

Gene Roddenberry and Isaac Asimov had some communication after Asimov wrote some disparaging comments about the scientific accuracy of Star Trek. They eventually became firm friends and Roddenberry ...
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Was Stephen Byerley a robot after all?

In Asimov's short story Evidence there is a strong suggestion that Stephen Byerley is a robot. However, in the very next story in the series The Evitable Conflict he shows a lack of understanding how ...
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In Foundation and Earth, what about the story about a Settler and a Spacer woman on Solaria?

In Foundation and Earth, there is a story about a Settler man and a Spacer woman leaving Solaria together. However, there is no further explanation in the book. Is it explained in another book?
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Why is the Second Foundation considered an enemy?

At the end of the first part of Foundation and Empire, Barr mentions the Second Foundation as a possible future enemy, but why? Until that point it has been only namedropped in the prologue and when ...
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Is Trantor Earth?

After reading the first Foundation book in the series, I asked myself if Trantor was Earth at one point. I don't think Asimov ever mentions Earth in the Foundation series.
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Have any movies been based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series?

Have any movies been produced based on Isaac Asimov's Foundation series? If not, why not?