(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Susan Calvin, an unattractive, unemotional, and brilliant robot psychologist, is the central character of the stories. She is first introduced in the book's frame-tale in which a young reporter interviews her on her career. Dr. Calvin figures in many of the stories as a kind of robotic detective. She appears in "Robbie" as a teenager working on her first paper on robotics for school. She is an elderly woman in the last story "The Evitable Conflict" and soon afterward dies. In effect, her life is bound up with the history of the robots from their beginnings as the speechless victims of human prejudice to their management of human history. Susan's dryness and cold intelligence make her seem like a robot herself, and she serves as the champion of the robots' cause insisting that they are superior to humans and competent to serve as humanity's guardians.

(The entire section is 145 words.)