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I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay

por Harlan Ellison

Outros autores: Isaac Asimov (Original Work)

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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555933,441 (4.01)6
The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm 2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.… (mais)
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Ellison may be a notorious jerk in the sci-fi world (see the decades of controversies over the infamously unpublished anthology The Last Dangerous Visions, or even the somewhat self-aggrandizing introduction to this volume), but his screenplay for Isaac Asimov's classic ended up being really good. He turned a somewhat loose collection of short stories into a coherent story, keeping an impressive amount of the material and characterization from the original works and even managing to emphasize Asimov's points about prejudice and morality. The points of deviation are minor and excusable, for the most part:
- The stories Reason, Catch That Rabbit, and almost everything after Little Lost Robot are omitted, which sucks from a completion standpoint but are understandable from a filmability perspective (even I wouldn't really be too interested in a movie version of stuff like Escape!)
- There are some aliens, which is unusual given their scarcity in Asimov's works, but their alienness is irrelevant and you could mentally swap them for people with no difference to the story
- There's a Citizen Kane-ish frame narrative about a reporter investigating a possible relationship between Susan Calvin and Stephen Byerley; Byerley has also been given a backstory as a John Connor-ish freedom fighter before he became President, as well as a deeper connection to Calvin
- Calvin's character is much more at the forefront; her personality has been given more detail, most notably an interest in Amazonian archaeology

Overall I thought it was a very good and spiritually faithful rendition, especially in Calvin's relationships to robots and her defense of them as being more moral than people. The screenplay does show its late-70s vintage somewhat in how there are scenes that have a Terminator or Blade Runner vibe, and it also exposes the age of the original stories. From the perspective of the year 2012, when we're nuts about self-driving cars and the like, it's tough to imagine mobs of people getting angry enough about automation to go on a robot pogrom. The idea that people would be resistant to a robot president is somewhat more understandable; Asimov wrote that idea as an allegory for anti-Semitism and it's obviously true that prejudice has been far from conquered. I also won't complain about the inclusion of stuff like teleportation or mind-reading robots, because this is science fiction. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
The stories themselves merit a higher rating than 3 stars. 4 pushing on 5 really when one considers not only how groundbreaking they were at the time but the elegant and succinct use of language by Asimov to paint vivid mental images. However, I simply can’t bring myself to do so in light of the female characters.

Dr. Susan Calvin, while brilliant and capable, is also cold, unattractive, and unloved. Far too often in media, women are portrayed as being either attractive and helpless or unattractive and competent. The image of a vastly intelligent and strong woman who is incapable of giving or receiving love is tiresome.

Then you have the mother in “Robbie” who makes “full use of every device which a clumsier and more scrupulous sex has learned, with reason and futility, to fear” and nags her husband into making a bad choice. She can only then be convinced of the truth, not by reason and logic, but by manipulation.

And there’s the leader of the European Region. Oh hey, woman in a powerful position as a leader of one fourth of the world! What’s that? Oh, I see. She only has the job because the men of her region are so “tired and sleepy” that it falls upon a “poor” woman to do the work. But it’s okay because “…fortunately, it is not a difficult job, and not much is expected…” of her.

I know it was the 50s. I know that loving classic sci-fi is going to come with lots of doses of sexism. However, a writer who could envision a future without war (which seems terribly unlikely in light of human behavior) ought to be able to envision women as fully evolved human beings (which we actually are). ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jul 11, 2018 |
THIS is the movie that should have been made, not that travesty with the otherwise enjoyable Will Smith. Ellison's great skill here is his ability to make this recognizably Asimovean as well as Ellisonian. Were a few of my favorite robot stories condensed, or even missed? Sure, but this is for a movie, not a miniseries.

This script is my nominee for the greatest science fiction movie never made -- and one of the great tragedies of the way Hollywood works, since it was personalities that killed it, not quality. Maybe some enterprising CGI artist will take up the challenge; I'm not holding my breath for mainstream producers to get it together.

Historically, Asimov has been horribly abused by Hollywood -- beyond the ill-conceived 'I, Robot' (I nearly walked out of the theater on just the *trailer* for it), anyone who's seen the versions of 'Nightfall' will know that, and the threatened Emmerich-helmed 'Foundation' doesn't inspire confidence either.

Reading this, though, helps make up for much of that. ( )
3 vote trdsf | Aug 10, 2013 |
I actually enjoyed reading this screenplay very much, and Ellison's forward explains a lot as to how the movie deal never worked out. I think that making this movie in the 70s when the screenplay was initially written would have been difficult given the extreme amount of special effect shots. It is unfortunate that 20 some years later a movie WAS made with this title and that it so very little resembles Ellison and Asimov's more faithful rendition. The artwork included in this edition is also absolutely fantastic. It really helps to visualize what some of the shots could have looked like. ( )
2 vote WashburnJ | Sep 12, 2012 |
Harlan Ellison did a very good job of putting Asimov's "I, Robot" stories into a cohesive screenplay. Of course the story was tweaked some but kept the core ideas of the short stories from that collection. Unfortunately, I don't think this will ever get made into a movie. It really had it's best chance when it was originally written. Read Ellison's forward on how the movie deal fell apart: a funny little story. However, I do think it would work well as a 3D animated film, and probably would have more of chance of getting made that way. If you were a fan of the book, you'd probably like this screenplay. ( )
  jphillips3334 | Mar 18, 2010 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Harlan Ellisonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Asimov, IsaacOriginal Workautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Zug, MarkArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Zug, MarkIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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TO ISAAC my buddy who, simply put made this a better world
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FADE IN:
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Harlan Ellison completed his screenplay adaptation of Isaac Asimov's collected robot series, I, Robot, in 1978. Almost a decade later, with the screenplay still unfilmed, Ellison and Asimov agreed to serialize it in the pages of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. It ran in three issues in late 1987. Asimov wrote a foreward that accompanied the first part of the serialization. It is reprinted here, along with a new introduction from Ellison, to give readers an historical context for the screenplay, and an insight into its creation.

Contents:
Harlan Ellison's I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Me 'n' Isaac at the Movies: A Brief Memoir of Citizen Calvin by Harlan Ellison
I, Robot [screenplay by Harlan Ellison]
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The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm 2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov's trademark.

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