Thursday, May 3, 2018

Tender Loving Plastics, by Amman Sabet

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Near-Future SF) Issa is a little girl who grows up in a little house with an older brother and a robot mom. (3,927 words; Time: 13m)

"Tender Loving Plastics," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 05-06|18, published on by .

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

Pro: Somehow the end of the story struck a chord with me; Issa revists her old home to try to get some closure, but her robot mom’s idea of “closure” turns out to be the same as a Kindle’s: “Please give this work a star rating.”

This is an idea-driven story, exploring the question “what would it be like to be raised by a robotic foster parent?” As such, it does a good job of touching on obvious problem areas, like how to handle violence, how would other kids treat you, would you turn out normal, etc., and it does so with natural dialogue, no info dumps, and transparent narration.

The robot seemed very plausible. Clearly not human, but close enough provided the situation was something it was programmed for. It also seemed sadly plausible that a future society would save money by having abandoned children raised by inadequate robot surrogates.

Con: Cool though the idea is, it's almost all there is to the story. Beyond that, it has an “and plot," and Issa is barely developed as a character.

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Amman Sabet Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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