Robot Visions, by Isaac Asimov

Second paragraph of third story (“Robbie”):

She craned her neck to investigate the possibilities of a clump of bushes to the right and then withdrew farther to obtain a better angle for viewing its dark recesses. The quiet was profound except for the incessant buzzing of insects and the occasional chirrup of some hardy bird, braving the midday sun.

As with the companion anthology, Robot Dreams, this included a lot of stories which I had fairly recently returned to in The Complete Robot and did not especially like; a smaller number of stories which were new to me and which I generally liked a bit more; and some lovely illustrations by Ralph McQuarry. It also ends with a number of essays on robots by Asimov, most of which are about how clever he was to have invented the Three Laws. What really struck me was how little adaptation he felt he needed to make to the changing times; Alan Turing completed his PhD in 1938, just before Asimov started publishing, and in real life artificial intelligence has followed Turing’s path and never come close to Asimov’s. Likewise, the ethical and even political dilemmas faced by Asimov’s characters seem rather pale now; I don’t see much reference, even implicit, to John Rawls (who in fairness published A Theory of Justice only in 1971, almost three decades after the Laws of Robotics). Anyway, if you want, you can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2016. Next on that pile is Welcome to Night Vale, by Joseph Fink.