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PhS Library 
Issue 2 (December)

































The concept of “robotics” in Isaac Asimov’s science fiction: clash of traditions and innovations

R.Sh. Akhmedov
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.111(73)-3+004.8      


Akhmedov Rafael Sh.,

Senior Lecturer of the English Language and Literature Department

Gulistan State University (Gulistan, Republic of Uzbekistan)



The image of a mechanical (artificial) creature constructed thanks to the achievements of mankind in the field of science and technology has been present in literature since its inception, since the first oral myths and legends. Only towards the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century, the emphasis in the image of the robot in the literature shifted from religious-mystical to philosophic-technical. The purpose of this study is to assess the legitimacy of the statement that the work of the American science fiction writer Isaac Asimov was a turning point in the development of the image of a robot in world literature. For this purpose, the following research was done: a comparative historical overview of the development of the image of a robot in literary works; the analysis of the scientific literature on the issue; a thorough analysis of several key works of Isaac Asimov (particularly, stories from the “I, Robot” collection), in which the robot character plays a central role and participates in the formation of the main idea of the work revealing the theme and the construction of the plot. Being a supporter of the idea of the humanistic role of science fiction, Isaac Asimov abandoned the established tradition of a monster robot, endowed it with Three Laws so that humanity could overcome the Frankenstein complex and look at the achievements of technology from a new perspective. This new approach of Isaac Asimov to the robot character and to the question of the relationship between human being and technology, which initially caused a negative response from literary critics, subsequently became one of the components of the reform of American science fiction and the advent of the Golden Age of science fiction. The concept of “robotics” of Isaac Asimov became the cornerstone of not only modern science fiction but also other branches of human activity, including information technology and robotics industry.

Keywords: Isaac Asimov, robot image, science fiction, genre traditions, Three laws of robotics, Frankenstein complex, foresight.


Acknowledgements: the author is grateful to James Edwin Gunn, science fiction writer, winner of the Hugo and Locus awards, Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas, who, despite his advanced age (96), made a valuable comment on the content of the article. The author is also grateful to Emad El-Din Aysha, a member of the Egyptian association of science fiction writers, a scientist and journalist, for advice on finding proper sources. Special thanks to the editors and reviewers of the journal for their hard work and patience.



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