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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Could a revised version of Asimov's Three Laws have prevented Skynet from becoming a problem? [closed]

If Skynet's designers had subjected Skynet to Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, would it have prevented Skynet from provoking a nuclear war? I know there are several variants of the Three Laws, ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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! ...
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In the Robot and Empire universes - when/why did the Earth turn radioactive?

Having read the Robot, Empire, and Foundation novels in a haphazard order, I was wondering when the Earth was turned radioactive and was it ever explained why?
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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Understanding the limericks in Asimov's mystery story, “Out of Sight”

It is about the well-known "Black Widowers" series of Asimov's stories. I'm currently having difficulties in understanding some passages in the "Out of Sight" story (the last one) from the 1-st book. ...
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Solving a mystery in Asimov's mystery story

I've read Asimov's "Go, Little Book" story from Black Widowers series. All seems clear (and the story itself is good) except for one place, where I can't follow the author. Here is the excerpt: ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Do Powell and Donovan experience relativistic time dilation, in 'Escape!'?

In the Asimov short story "Escape!" (part of the Susan Calvin series), Powell and Donovan are set by US Robotics to test a spaceship with a hyperspatial drive. They, at one point claim they have been ...
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Short story about a robot who wants to become a writer

I don't remember much about it, but I remember reading it about 5-8 years ago while on an Asimov kick. It may be one of his stories, but I can't remember names/places. All I can remember is that the ...
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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 ...
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Why did hyperspace kill the men in the short novel “Escape!”?

In the book "I, Robot", Isaac Asimov wrote many short stories; one of them, Escape! was about the discovery of hyperspace. Why did the men that flew in hyperspace die? How did they come back to life? ...
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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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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 ...
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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 "...
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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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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.
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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 ...
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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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How did the Anacreon manage space travel without nuclear power?

I just started reading. Still I wonder, the Anacreon world lost the knowledge and the skill for using nuclear power, yet they were able to travel between planets... Is it because they still were ...
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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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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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Were there high-powered mutants in Foundation universe before the Mule?

The Mule was a "mentalic" mutant of enough power that he managed to overcome the forces of history and disrupt Hari Seldon's plans. Were such mutants known prior to the Mule? (and known to Seldon)?
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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 ...
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Is the Deep Purple song “The Mule” inspired by the character of the same name in Asimov's Foundation series?

On the album Fireball by Deep Purple, there's a song called "The Mule", which opens with the following lines: No one sees the things you do Because I stand in front of you But you drive me all ...
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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, ...
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If names are unique and family relationships are gone, why do Solarians have last names?

Why do residents of Solaria bother with last names? Every person is guaranteed to have a unique first name, so last names don't distinguish there. Also, children have no idea who their parents are ...
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Is the Encyclopaedia Galactica in the Hitchhiker's Guide a reference to Asimov's Foundation Trilogy Encyclopædia Galactica or a tribute to Carl Sagan?

While reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I was thinking if the Encyclopaedia Galactica mentioned in the book is the same as Asimov's Foundation Trilogy's Encyclopædia Galactica? Could it be ...
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Source of tale/story referenced in “The Last Question” by Asimov

In Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question", there is a passage which reads: "Sure you are. You're weak on logic, that's the trouble with you. You're like the guy in the story who was caught in a ...