US Robots develops an experimental, intuitive—female—robot. It proves its worth by intuiting the answer to a question of vital interest but is accidentally destroyed before it can reveal the answer. Susan Calvin, therefore, has to be called out of retirement to salvage the situation.
I don’t rank this as high as the great Susan Calvin stories of the 1940’s and 1950’s, stories like “Evidence,” "Galley Slave,” and "Satisfaction Guaranteed,” but it’s not as bad as “Liar!” or "Lenny,” either. Indeed, in almost every respect it’s an excellent story. Calvin is at the top of her form, and the situation is interesting—the other characters are reasonably believable, too. The one problem is the story’s sexism. Of course, Asimov is writing to denounce the sexist feeling that men are rational and women intuitive, but my problem was believing that this would still be a problem in the future he portrays. I suppose I'm being overly optimistic here, but it did have a negative impact on my enjoyment of an otherwise top-notch story.
|The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories|
|The Complete Robot|
|The Asimov Chronicles|
|Complete Stories, The, Vol. 2|