The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

 

Science FictionThe positronic man The Positronic ManIsaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg; Doubleday 1992WorldCatMr. Martin brings home a new robot, NDR 113. His younger daughter looks at the robot and names him Andrew. Andrew was programmed with logic and mind paths that could learn. He is also programmed with the three robotic laws. But the laws don’t prevent the development and growth of his mind.

Little Miss, the younger daughter, is upset when Miss, her older sister, receives a present she covets. Andrew takes some driftwood and creates a beautiful necklace. This robot has a creative, artistic side. Soon his woodworking is so good he has his own studio. Sir (Mr. Martin) first gives the work away, then starts selling it for Andrew. Andrew amasses a fortune as the years pass. He continues his personal growth.

The Martins grow older. Andrew continues to serve. Little Miss gets married, has a son of her own, George. Madam leaves Sir, Miss moves away. Andrew continues to learn as he stays with the Martins. Sir dies. Little Miss gets older. George becomes an influential lawyer. Andrew stays a close family friend.

Andrew wants more. He wants to be a free robot. He decides to write a book. He lives in his own home on the Martin property. He serves the Martins faithfully as he grows within himself. Andrew becomes unique, and feared. Robots are not supposed to act like humans, Andrew is more like a human as the years pass. Is it surprising that eventually he wants to be human?

Two masters of science fiction novels have given us a poignant Pinocchio story in The Positronic Man. The reader follows Andrew as he grows and becomes more than his programming. They have told the story with keenness, luring the reader to identify with Andrew and his plight. This is science fiction, yet. It is also the story of growth, of becoming more than you could be, and the need to feel equal to the others around us. By the end of the book, tears were slipping down my cheeks for Andrew.

If the story line sounds familiar, Robin Williams’ movie, The Bicentennial Man, is based on this book.

More books by Isaac Asimov

More books by Robert Silverberg

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