Isaac Asimov – The Man who has created a universe for himself nearly 5 decades ago. Hyperspace travel, Humanoid robots, Galactic Empire are all came to fictionous life only through his unparalleled imagination and vision during the time period when computers are nonexistent.
He is the one who coined the term Robotics, the study of Robots and also coined the famous Three laws of Robotics followed later by Zeroth law in Robots and Empire.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
I started reading his books couple of months ago and lured into his robotic world and Galactic Empire. I am yet to read the Foundation series. Here share the reading order suggested by Isaac Asimov himself and a brief writing about the plot in the book. Here are Isaac Asimov Robot Series Novels and their reading order.
Reading the below excerpt might spoil the thrill of reading the novel as it might reveal the plot. If you are looking only for Recommended reading order, go here.
The Complete Robot
Year of Publication – 1982
This is a collection of thirty-one robot short stories published between 1940 and 1976 and includes every story in his earlier collection I, Robot (1950). Only one robot short story has been written since this collection appeared. That is Robot Dreams, which has not yet appeared in any Doubleday collection. The book constitutes few extraordinary stories. I personally liked Liar, Mirror Image,Runaround, Evitable Conflict. This book will give an idea and warm you up to enter the world of Robots and Space Travel. This collection also shows the life of Susan Calvin, the best and only Robo-Psychologist in U.S Robots (and, virtually, mankind’s).
Timeline in the Book: The stories in the book happens between 1995 AD to 2360 AD.
Caves of Steel
Year of Publication – 1954
This is the first Novel in Robot series. This novel introduces main human character, Elijah Bailey, a Plainclothesman and a homicide detective in New York City. This novel also depicts a spacer humanoid robot, R. Daneel Olivaw who assists Elijah in the investigation. Both of them work as a partner in all the robotic novel except Robots and Empire. The plot revolves around a murder of a spacer scientist and portraits the life of Earth people in The City. Excellent work by Isaac Asimov in bringing out the essence of Human life where people live their entire life in confined underground interlinked Cities and their hatred for Robots.
Timeline in the Book: 3421 AD
The Naked Sun
Year of Publication – 1957
This is the second robot series novel. The main character is Elijah Bailey accompanied by his Humanoid partner, R. Daneel Olivaw. The plot is the investigation of the murder of scientist in one of the spacer world, Solaria. The book focuses on the unusual traditions and culture of Solarian society. The society with overall population of twenty thousand humans and ten thousand robots to serve every single human. Asimov introduces a female lead role, Gladia Delmarre as wife of the victim who will be appearing in other robotic novels. Isaac Asimov shows in later novels how Solaria, the planet of desolation suffered the slow decay.
Timeline in the Book: 3422 AD (One year after Caves of Steel)
The Robots of Dawn
Year of Publication – 1983
This is the third novel in robot series. The main character is Elijah Bailey. This time accompanied by not only his Humanoid partner, R. Daneel Olivaw but also another robot, R. Giskard Reventlov. This is the best novel in Robot series according to me. Instead of investigating a homocide, here Elijah is asked to investigate a ‘Roboticide’ in the spacer world, Aurora which is the first outer world to be settled by human. The book is about the conspiracy in the spacer world against the expansion and colonization of other worlds. Gladia Delmarre is now Gladia Solaria in Aurora who again is associated to the victim. This novel makes the further expansion of worlds possible and also shows how Elijah and Daneel becomes best friends breaking the Human-Robot barrier. The plot is thought provoking and ends with climax which I never guessed.
Timeline in the Book: 3424 AD (Two years after The Naked Sun)
Robots and Empire
Year of Publication – 1985
This is the fourth and final novel in robot series. I felt there is no human main character in this novel. The plot is mainly driven by R. Daneel Olivaw and R. Giskard Reventlov. It takes place 200 Years after The Robots of Dawn. Elijah Bailey is dead but he along with his son was the leader of new wave of migration in to new worlds from Earth. The novel explains the thought process of the two robots and about how they were controlled by The Three Laws of Robotics. Here in this Novel, Isaac Asimov also introduces The Zeroth Law of Robotics which states
A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
The book is about the conspiracy and evil plan of spacer world against Earth and how the Robots are trying to prevent disaster. This novel shows the mankind’s expansion to outer worlds. The novel ends with the climax which will make you think twice.
Timeline in the Book: 3634 AD (Two hundred years after Robots and Empire)
This concludes Isaac Asimov Robot series novels. Currently I am reading the final novel in Galactic Series. Once I am done with it, I will make a similar post. I hope you will find this useful. Come back to read about Galactic Empire series and Foundation Series.
Update: If you liked this one, You should read about the Isaac Asimov’s Galactic Empire Series Novel.