Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good Story 060: I, Robot

Julie adopts a cat. Scott eats some pie. Will Smith takes a shower. They all try to ask the right questions. Alex Proyas' "I, Robot" is discussed. Asimov is mentioned, and Harlan Ellison, and Star Trek Into Darkness, and 12 Angry Men.

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More stuff:  
  • I, Robot (the book) by Isaac Asimov
  • I, Robot (the Illustrated Screenplay) by Harlan Ellison. The movie that was never made. Would have been a good one!
  • Helen O'Loy by Lester del Rey ... NOT in Asimov's "I, Robot." No wonder Scott didn't recall it.


  1. An enjoyable movie for what it was, plus I forgive much more when Will Smith in it. Still it wasn't a brainless popcorn movie, just could have kicked up the brain a bit more. Possibly with a Positronic one.

    What annoyed me though is I really want a movie based on "Caves of Steel". Can't believe it hasn't been done yet since it has all the elements of a summer action movie and as a mystery. I can see why "The Naked Sun" hasn't been done, but this one should have been made.

    It really it quite amazing how little of Azimov's works have been done on film. The Fantastic Voyage was fairly good and "The Bicentennial Man" was mediocre. Never seen the movie version of Nightfall, but the ratings say I didn't miss much. Still where is the Foundation series on film?

    Asimov was my first love as a reader and really sucked me into to SF.

  2. Oh and plus using the title "I, Robot" and using very little of the short stories didn't annoy me very much considering that "Mind and Iron" is what Asimov originally planned to call it. The editor took the name from another Eando Binder short story. "I, Robot" though is a much better name.

  3. The first science fiction book I ever read was Arthur C. Clarke. "Dolphin Island" - I remember it well!

    After that, it was Asimov and more Clarke. The "Foundation" series and all the Robot books by Asimov. The second wave of those books were coming out while I was in high school, starting with "Foundation's Edge". I was buying them from the Science Fiction Book Club and reading them as they came out.

    I read the typical Clarke's: Childhood's End, The City and the Stars, 2001, 2010... some short stories.

    A TON of great potential movie fodder from both of them.

    I am horrified to say that the SyFy Channel is making a "Childhood's End" miniseries. Also Niven's "Ringworld". After "Earthsea", I have zero hope that they'll be any good at all. Of course, part of me wants to believe.

  4. One more thing - a lot of people read Heinlein, too, but I don't recall reading him much until later. Much later, actually. I read only few Heinlein novels before Jesse and I started SFFaudio in 2003.

  5. Scott,

    After starting with Asimov I quickly caught on to the other grandmasters. Lots of Clarke, Niven, A. E. van Vogt, Jack Vance, E. E. “Doc” Smith, Hal Clement, Frederik Pohl (who I got to met and talk to as my father drove him to the airport from the TV studio). Stanislaw Lem was also a favorite of mine when I discovered him as a teenager. Since my Father worked at at ABC in Portland, Or I would come in at times when they had SF authors on their morning show. I met Frank Herbert this way (or really just saw him) during what must have been the Children of Dune book tour. The Dune series is the series I have reread the most - I just so love those books.

    Agree about the SyFy channel and it will probably be giant sharks on Ringworld. Which is too bad since that really is one novel I would like to see done well. Although generally I prefer Niven with Pournelle since Pournelle brings the best out of him.

    Earthsea on SyFy was so bad it wasn't even b-movie bad -- just plain bad. I knew it was going to be awful from the start with the whole teenage angst and father stupidity.

  6. Yes, Earthsea was incredibly bad. I recall being very excited to see it. I watched maybe 15 minutes before turning it off.

    Incredible meeting those SF authors! I also like the Dune books, but feel like I rookie because I've only read two: Dune and Dune, Messiah. I've had Children of Dune on my to-read list for too long. Now that I know I have someone to discuss it with, I better get it read!

    And RIP Jack Vance. Thanks be to God that he saw 96 years. I only recently discovered him while I was reading through Hugo and Nebula short fiction. "The Last Castle" and "The Dragon Masters" - loved them both, so I read some of The Dying Earth. I'm two stories into that first volume. He's unique, but clearly influenced Wolfe and Zelazny. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Gaiman liked him too.

  7. Scott,

    I also recently read that Vance was a major influence on Dungeons & Dragons who used several things from his books and that the wizard Vecna was an anagram of Vance.