I, Robot is an early novel by America's master of sci fi and futuristic fiction. Asimov went on to write hundreds of books -- novels, reference tomes, religious commentary, and other non-fiction -- before his death. His writing in early science fiction and fantasy magazines prepared him for his role beside Ray Bradbury as America's godfather of sci fi .
hough one of Asimov's shorter works, the novel I, Robot, contains elements central to the author's career-long preoccupations: the nature of consciousness and individuality; the relationship of humans' creations to our identity as individuals; justice as construed by both recipient and judge -- and the role of history and accident in human society. By the end of the novel, we are asked to consider whether our efforts to extend ourselves through our creation of machines that are like us in some ways, will result in machines that are like us in their ability to suffer and rebel. The main character of the novel is disturbingly like his creator, rather in the way Milton's Lucifer in Paradise Lost is disturbing like the the Creator that made him and Mankind.
Asimov quickly discerned that human history and culture demonstrate a continual struggle to identify what is real and what is meaningul. His broad historic understanding and his genuine knowledge about scientific subjects ranging from biology to psychiatry physics to organic chemistry find an apotheosis in the hands of an independent and compassionate thinker with a literary intelligence.
Though forty years old, I,Robot continues to be an underlying precursor to contemporary sci fi -- especially to popular films such as AI, Minority Report, and others. His later Foundation trilogy (and then, eventually, quadrology) brings to a peak concerns first examined in the earlier novels and novellas. The role of technology on human opportunity, and the consistency and stubborness of "human nature" are only now being as effectively considered by non-fiction writers such as Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse).