Book review: The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

Basic Info:

  • Title: The Positronic Man
  • Authors: Isaac Asimov; Robert Silverberg
  • Published: 1992(UK); 1993(US) by DoubleDay
  • My source: Public library




Several hundred years in the future there are nearly as many robots on earth as there are humans. Andrew Martin is a robot of the NDR series – your basic household helper – yet he’s also unique. Something about his positronic brain has given him abilities no other robot has. He’s creative, thoughtful, and self-aware, and over time he realizes that his ultimate desire is to become a man — to be human, and to be recognized as such.


An intriguing short novel. Not a lot of action or drama; more philosophical. It reminded me of some of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes about Data. At first, I thought that this book was much older and that it must have been the inspiration for Data. In fact, while Asimov’s writings were a major inspiration behind Data’s character, The Positronic Man was written in 1992, well after TNG was underway. I should say that I haven’t read anything else by Asimov, and this was a good introduction (although it is a collaborative work with Robert Silverberg). I’m interested in exploring more of Asimov’s writing.