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Reason by Isaac Asimov

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This is guest post by Marco Crosa.

“You can prove anything you want by coldly logical reason – if you pick the proper postulates. We have ours and Cutie has his.”

"Reason" is a 1941 short story by Isaac Asimov and his second one of the robot series. It is about two technicians who – during a mission in an orbital station – find themselves to deal with a robot who acquires consciousness of his own existence.

Gregory Powell and Michael Donovan are on mission at space station #5 whose main function is to convert the solar energy into beams necessary to satisfy the energetic needs of some inhabited planets. Since life on board is made difficult by solar radiations and electron storms a new series of sophisticated robot were developed to gradually replace human jobs. After the assembly however one of them – Cutie (QT-1) – exhibits curiosity about his own existence and a few considerations lead him to state that he exists because he thinks. Believing the energy converter his God and Creator he takes over the station together with the other robots leaving the two technician powerless. The second rule of robotics is apparently broken just while a coming electron storm may cause a terrible blast in the Earth. Is there anything wrong with the positronic brain at this time?

About the story and where to find it

  • "Reason" was first published on April 1941 in Astounding Science Fiction and successively collected in I, Robot(1950), The Complete Robot (1982) and Robot Visions(1990).
  • Gregory Powell and Michael Donovan make their first appearance in the Asimov’s universe and readers get acquainted with the positronic brain idea.
  • You can read the story in the Robot Visions collection available online at ebooktrove.com.

About Marco Crosa
I have a degree in philosophy of science and, let’s say, I’m curious about anything. I love literature and especially sci-fi. I keep a blog at Ma.Cro Mind.