Asimov's robot short stories have been anthologized in many different books over 50 years. I, Robot, his first robot collection, continues to be a popular book as do the many complete collections of his short stories about robots. Asimov formulated the Three Laws of Robotics in his early robot short stories--laws that would have a major influence on the SF world.

According to James Gunn, in his book Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction (1996), Asimov's robot stories are centered around seven basic issues:

  1. Unreasoning human opposition to robots
  2. Human resentment of robots and the difficulties of introducing robots to Earth.
  3. The difficulties of giving robots unambiguous instructions.
  4. Determining what is good for people.
  5. The distinctions among robots and between robots and people and the difficulties telling robots and people apart.
  6. The superiority of robots to people.
  7. The superiority of people to robots.

There are many important short stories within Asimov's collection. "Liar!" investigates what would happen if a robot had the ability to read minds. Many critics consider his story "The Bicentennial Man" to be one of the most important robot short stories. It explores the development of robot consciousness and the surrounding issues. "A Boy's Best Friend" and "Robbie" are the earliest of Asimov's published short stories.


Here's a fairly complete list of Asimov's robot short stories:

IR=from I, Robot

  • "A Boy's Best Friend"
  • "The Bicentennial Man"
  • "Catch That Rabbit" IR
  • "Escape!" IR
  • "Evidence" IR
  • "The Evitable Conflict" IR
  • "Feminine Intuition"
  • "First Law"
  • "Galley Slave"
  • "Lenny"
  • "Let's Get Together"
  • "Liar!" IR --> Laws of Robotics
  • "Light Verse"
  • "Little Lost Robot" IR
  • "Mirror Image"
  • "Point of View"
  • "Reason" IR
  • "Risk"
  • "Robbie" IR
  • "Robot AL-76 Goes Astray"
  • "Runaround" IR
  • "Sally"
  • "Satisfaction Guaranteed"
  • "Someday"
  • "Segregationist"
  • "Stranger in Paradise"
  • "The Tercentenary Incident"
  • "That Thou Art Mindful of Him"
  • "Think!"
  • "True Love"
  • "Victory Unintentional"

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