Short stories by Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov, (born January 2, 1920, Petrovichi, Russia—died April 6, 1992, New York, New York, U.S.), American author and biochemist, a highly successful and prolific writer of science fiction and of science books for the layperson. He wrote or edited about 500 volumes, of which the most famous are those in the Foundation and robot series. Asimov was brought to the United States at age three. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Columbia University in 1939. During World War II, he worked at the Naval Aviation Experimental Station in Philadelphia along with science-fiction authors Robert Heinlein and L. Sprague de Camp. After the war, he took a Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia in 1948. He then joined the faculty of Boston University, with which he remained associated thereafter.

Listing 13 stories.

Humanity has eliminated all plants and animals in a futuristic world that isn't meant for human consumption. One man refuses to kill his pet animals and plants, and the government tries to convince him to comply.

A man named Stein commits fraud then travels into the future to the day after the statute of limitations has expired. After the ensuing legal battle, the judge rules: "A niche in time saves Stein."

A father-son duo of physicists set out to explore the mysteries of time travel, but when they manage to bring something back from the prehistoric past, they find that their discovery is far beyond what they expected.

A mathematician tries to convince his machinist friend to travel through time with him, leading to a heated discussion of man’s hubris and the possible paradoxes that could open up if they disturb the time-space continuum.

A simulacron, who serves as a representative of an alien species, speaks with the US Secretary of Science about their wish to purchase the planet Jupiter. While the Secretary worries about stirring up conflict between the simulacron and another species, the simulacron assures him that no harm will come to Earth, and the two eventually reach an agreement.

In a realistic sci-fi world, a mystery writer nurtures his robot servant's interest in becoming a writer as well, paying for a series of expensive upgrades such that the robot can understand spelling, grammar, plot, human behavior, and humor. However, when the robot's talent threatens to surpass his own, the egotistical writer demands the robot's mind be restored to its original state.

In a near future world, a famous computerized drama director is pushed beyond his artistic limits when a random science fiction writer asks him to adapt his novel for the digital stage—for the alluring incentive of real gold payment.

In a futuristic 1998, a young girl and her robot companion are separated after her mother decides she doesn't want a robot raising her child and insists on selling the robot back to US robots. However the girl, deeply depressed by the loss of her friend, doesn't develop other interests as her mother had hoped; rather, she fixates on searching for the robot wherever they go.

When an esteemed engineer interrogates the world’s first dreaming robot, she is forced to choose between scientific advancement or human survival.

In the future, two human men and their robotic companion are stationed at an old mining base on Mercury. When the robot goes missing on a mission, it's up to the men to find and rescue their companion—at risk to their own lives.