Susan Calvin is called back to Hyper Base and, while there, has to solve another problem. The first ship with a hyperdrive has been built and, because of the rather high chance of disaster associated with testing it, a robot has been sent out to be the pilot—only nothing happened and the robot is stuck on board a potentially dangerous ship.
This generally inferior sequel to "Little Lost Robot” was written too late to be included in I, Robot, which is just as well, since it contradicts "Escape!,” and "Escape!” is a (slightly) better story.
My problem here is with the ending. Calvin manipulates Gerald Black into boarding the ship and using his anti-roboticism and anger to drive him to solve the problem, when a robot would clearly be unable to. Her reasons may be sound, but it leaves Black in an unenviable and unbelievable position at the story’s conclusion—he’s been bitter and furious at Calvin throughout the tale, that bitterness and fury building, and all of a sudden, when Calvin explains why she did what she did, he drops it all at once. “Oh,” quoth”a, “well, no hard feelings, then. You did the right thing.” It has never really rung true to me that any member of the human race would react in quite that way, not after such a build-up.
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|The Complete Robot|