With un-tethered mass-produced humanoid robots on the horizon of the real-world, I thought I might have a go at revisiting Asimov’s “Robot” stories, not having re-read them for so long that I’ve forgotten them. Other than to recall that they were enjoyable.

There turn out to have been a lot of them, written over the years. 31 by 1982, which was when we had The Complete Robot collection. More later.

I don’t wish to repeat the completist effort that was trying to read all Asimov’s Foundation novels, including the later ‘leads in’ and ‘lead outs’. Thus, a ‘best of’ selection is required for the robots.

After some research, I find that the widely-agreed must-read ‘best’ boil down to just nine…

“Runaround” (starter story) (IN: I, ROBOT);
“Little Lost Robot” (IN: I, ROBOT);
“Bicentennial Man” (IN: ROBOT VISIONS);
“Liar!” (IN: I, ROBOT);
“The Tercentenary Incident” (IN: THE COMPLETE ROBOT);
“The Evitable Conflict” (IN: I, ROBOT);
“Evidence” (IN: ROBOT VISIONS);
“Someday” (IN: ROBOT VISIONS).

In audio, that’s just over eight hours.

And if one then wants more, the novels The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire follow these stories, in Asimov-time.

After that, in Asimov-time, you’re into the other two Empire novels, then the Foundation novels.