Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan are on a space station, millions of miles from Earth, which generates energy and beams it as microwaves to energy-hungry planets. They’re testing a new model of robot to see if it can handle the station’s operations—but the robot consistently refuses to see itself as a human creation. Rather, it develops an elaborate cult based on first principles and ends by forbidding Donovan and Powell to operate the equipment on the station because of their sacrelige just as a major storm threatens the integretity of the beam to Earth.
Although placed after "Runaround” in I, Robot, this story was actually the first of the Donovan and Powell stories, and my personal favorite. Asimov is satirizing religion here, of course, and viciously, but his barbs are right on target as anyone who has had to deal with the religious zealot who needs not study science because they know it’s false can attest. It’s a hilarious, fun story, high in my list of favorites.
|The Complete Robot|
|Isaac Asimov Presents the Best Science Fiction Firsts|