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Literature / The Rest of the Robots

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My robots were machines designed by engineers, not pseudo-men created by blasphemers. My robots reacted along the rational lines that existed in their "brains" from the moment of construction.
Dr Asimov, Introduction

A Science Fiction Genre Anthology/Omnibus published in 1964 by Isaac Asimov, with the help of Doubleday publishing company. Featuring stories from his Robot Series, a much slimmer copy of the book was also published as Eight Stories from The Rest of the Robots, created by absenting the two Elijah Baley books.

The Rest of the Robots contains the following stories:

The Rest of the Robots provides examples of:

  • Billed Above the Title: The author's name appears above the title in every publication of this book, and only sometimes is the publishing company included above Dr Asimov's name. Some of the time, the title is so small it looks the "Asimov" is the name of the book instead of the author.
  • Covers Always Lie: The 1974 Pyramid Books Eight Stories from cover has two humans in spacesuits surprised by an enormous robot in a sandy environment. The closest any story gets to this scene is Donovan, alone, getting surprised by Emma in "First Law", and even then' she isn't much larger than a human is.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: invoked In the preamble to "Galley Slave", Dr Asimov describes how it had been inspired and claims that this is his favourite Susan Calvin story.
  • Dedication: Dr Asimov prefaced this collection with "To Tim, Tom and Dick — my stalwart supporters at Doubleday". Tom refers to Tom Sloane, one of the editors at Doubleday and grandson of T. O'Conor Sloane, editor of Amazing Stories.
  • Fishbowl Helmet: The 1974 Pyramid Books cover has two men wearing spacesuits with clear glass spheres as helmets.
  • Floating Head Syndrome:
    • The 1968 Panther cover has a pink/red robot head in the centre of the cover and eight translucent duplicates around it, all on a black background.
    • The 2018 Harper Collins cover has a yellow robot head in the centre of the cover and six duplicates around it, all on a dynamic purple background.
  • Inspiration for the Work: invoked In the preamble to "Galley Slave", Dr Asimov describes how Horace Gold requested a story from him, but he was too busy working on a biochemistry textbook. However, not long after he said that, he came up with an idea for a story and sent that in.
  • Kissing the Ground: In the preamble to "Lenny", Dr Asimov describes how he hates vacations. When he returned home, he kissed the walls of his attic, where he works, to celebrate his escape from "vacation".
  • Mad Scientist: During the introduction, Dr Asimov discusses the creation of this trope, tying it to Frankenstein and World War I. Building life was blasphemous because mankind cannot build souls, but the war had shown that it could destroy life very easily. Thus, the "Evil Scientist or, at best, the Foolishly Sacrilegious Scientist", became a common archetype.
  • The Namesake: The preface of "Part II: The Laws of Robotics" explains that this collection's title comes from it containing stories that were not included in I, Robot. As Dr Asimov was inclined to continue writing robot stories, an interested reader may wish to pick up The Complete Robot instead.
  • Omnibus: After this book was first published, the eight short stories were reprinted both as Eight Stories from The Rest of the Robots and under this title. The original book also includes The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Tagline:
    • "They did Man's dirty work— but could they be trusted?" — 1966 Pyramid publication of Eight Stories from
    • "Science fiction's masterwriter at his most exciting!" — 1969 Pyramid publication of Eight Stories from
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: In the introduction, Dr Asimov discusses how fiction often showed how trying to do something godlike (such as creating artificial life) was something hubristic that needed to be punished. His decision to have robots as tools was an attempt to defy that literary tradition.
  • Two-Faced: The original cover had a stylised figure with skin/veins on the right and natal bars/springs/wires on the left, making it half-man and half-machine from their head to their legs (and presumably lower).

Alternative Title(s): Eight Stories From The Rest Of The Robots