First published in 1938, golden age sf author Eando Binder's
I, Robot, about the "confessions" of one Adam Link, a mechanical man, preceded, and according to Isaac Asimov inspired, his own robot series. Later with Binder's permission Asimov "borrowed" the title for the first collection of his robot tales. Until Binder's
I, Robot, the robots in science fiction stories had been menaces, either used as automatons by evil schemers in attempts to take over the world, or themselves being the evil schemers intent on conquering and exterminating humankind. For the first time, in
I, Robot, Binder made the robot the hero of the piece and made prejudiced humanity the villains. And for the first time, the author told his story from the viewpoint of the robot himself.
In I, Robot, the protagonist Adam Link is created and educated by an aging scientist, who keeps the idealistic robot in his house, safe from discovery. But when the scientist dies, Adam Link blunders into the real world. There he finds his fine ideals about humanity and his attempt to make friends repelled by those he meets, who view him as a Frankenstein monster. Soon Adam finds himself a fugitive, hunted down by a humanity intent on putting an end to his mechanical life.
I, Robot, is an unforgettable story, whose timeless theme is as powerful and relevant today as it was when the author first penned it. Perhaps that's why the producers of the original Outer Limits and the New Outer Limits both chose to adapt it for the television series (with Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy appearing in both productions).
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- K S Dhindsa