...a new take on old ideas and tackles the ethical issues of artificial life and human interaction with it without flinching....
Addison Inquisitor finds himself stranded and alone, repairing a damaged robot he finds for company and spending his time talking to it. When the first signs of possible sentience emerge, he begins to teach it, developing a friendship, only to learn they are not alone and their little refuge holds a hidden threat that may kill them both.
An enjoyable sci-fi short story with intriguing levels. The interaction between the lead character and his companion is well-thought out and touching, and the developing relationship between a human and a machine not thought capable of higher thought is brilliantly presented. It is faintly reminiscent of Asimov’s Robots books, although the focus is more on morals and ethics than logic and programming.
I don’t want to spoil it, but the twist is well done, the concepts it explores are well-examined, and what I really liked about the story was that it doesn’t take the cheap or easy way out by expecting the worst of its characters. While the twist has been done before, it is usually the end of the story. This uses it as the middle and explores the implications more thoroughly.
Sci-fi fans should enjoy this. It’s not deep but it is a new take on old ideas and tackles the ethical issues of artificial life and human interaction with it without flinching.
I’m torn between a three and a four, and I suspect I’m only leaning towards a three because given the author’s skilled handling of the issues in this short space, I’d like to have read more.Rating: 4
Reviewed on: 2015-11-16
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