“I, Robot,” Eando Binder, 1938

“I, Robot,” Eando Binder, 1938 – The confession of the robot, Adam Link.  He tells of his creation by Dr. Charles Link a few weeks prior.  Dr. Link had educated Adam quickly, and Adam has learned how to talk, walk, and behave in a human manner (perform human).  When the robot is fully finished and named, it states that it desires to serve humans.  But a Dr. Link is killed in an accident, and the housekeeper accuses Adam and armed men attempt to arrest him.  In the process, they kill Dr. Link’s dog, who had always been affectionate to Adam, and provoke Adam by refusing to listen to him.  Adam eventually finds a copy of Frankenstein which Dr. Link had hidden and comes to understand why humanity can’t accept him.  He decides that further confrontation is pointless, writes a confession, and shuts down.

Comments: The first robot tale from the point of view of the robot.  It mirrors the Frankenstein plot and chronicles the robot’s bewilderment and frustration as its body is “read” against its will by those he encounters.  Self-reflexive through the appearance of the Frankenstein text and its assistance in orienting Link.  Read in Great Science Fiction Stories of 1939.

Author: Wikipedia: “Eando Binder is a pen-name used by two mid-20th-century science fiction authors, Earl Andrew Binder (1904-1965) and his brother Otto Binder (1911-1974). The name is derived from their first initials (“E and O Binder”). Under the Eando name, the Binders wrote some published science fiction, including stories featuring a heroic robot named Adam Link. The first Adam Link story, published in 1939, is titled I, Robot. An unrelated collection of stories by Isaac Asimov, also entitled I, Robot, was published in 1950. The name was chosen by the publisher, against Asimov’s wishes.  By 1939, Otto had taken over all of the writing, leaving Earl to act as his literary agent.  Under his own name, Otto wrote for the Captain Marvel line of comic books published by Fawcett Comics (1941-1953).”  Earl Binder was born in Austria and his original name may have been Andreas Binder.  Otto was born in Michigan; he attended Northwestern University and The University of Chicago, and also worked as a librarian before becoming a freelance writer.  See the entry for “Eando Binder” in Everett Bleiler’s The Gernsback Years.


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1926-1939, automata/robots, favorites, genrecraft, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, suicide, the body, the gaze, the Other. Bookmark the permalink.

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