Saturday, August 27, 2016

All That Robot..., by Rich Larson

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(Post Apocalypse AI) Carver Seven spends a lot of time talking to the Human Being and helps him make spears and things. They each want something from the other, if they can manage to express it. (4,775 words; Time: 15m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: GDozois:4 RHorton:5 Readers

Also cited as "All That Robot Shit," apparently due to a last-minute title change.

"," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 09|16, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The protagonist here is Carrier Three, not the Man, and this is the story about how he took some big steps towards being more human. His attachment to Carrier Three is already strange by the standards of the other robots, so his decision to help the man escape is not a surprise. Even though the man doesn't manage to repair Carrier Three, he does try, and Carver Seven decides that's good enough and helps him escape. He calls it kindness, but we might equally call it compassion.

Con: Stories with emotional AIs generally end up just being stories about human beings who happen to look like robots, and this is no exception. Even as an AI, one wonders why it can't communicate better; who would design humanoid robots that couldn't communicate?

Another problem is that we keep expecting to learn what went wrong, but we never get more than the fainest clue.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 09|16)
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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I agree with RSR's ★★★ rating. It's a fun story that's a melange of humor, friendship, (past) romance, with a touch of horror, but it seems to take place in a "bubble" and the lack of context keeps me from recommending it.