In this sequel to “Not Final,” three specially designed robots are sent to the surface of Jupiter. Their job is to find out more about the inhabitants of the planet and whether or not they represent a genuine threat to the humans whom they have sworn to exterminate.
I love this story. It’s silly, yes, no doubt about it. The three robot heroes, ZZ-1, ZZ-2, and ZZ-3 are delightful, particularly the solid and unimaginative ZZ-1. The Jovians and the surface of Jupiter itself are also well-done, rather in the fashion of Clifford D. Simak’s excellent “City” story, “Desertion,” published two years later. Here, of course, they’re played for laughs, but to good effect.
(The surface of Jupiter is the setting for a number of top-notch sf stories, including Arthur C. Clarke’s incredible “Meeting with Medusa” and James Blish’s “Bridge.” Perhaps Martin H. Greenberg should do an anthology of Jupiter stories….)
Like "Robot AL-76 Goes Astray,” this story was left out of I, Robot because its humorous tone doesn’t fit in well with the other stories in the book, but it also depends too much on “Not Final,” which didn’t belong in I, Robot at all. It’s a shame that Asimov didn’t do much more with it than stick it in his robot omnibuses—it’s his first really successful humorous tale, and deserves more than to be buried away like that.