Saturday, April 24, 2021

A Guide for Working Breeds, by Vina Jie-Min Prasad

Published in Made to Order: Robots and Revolution, edited by Jonathan Strahan; publisher Solaris, March 2020

This is a cute story about a robot newly activated and assigned to a contract job, and an older robot, who has paid off his construction costs and is now independent, acting as the new robot's mentor, and giving him practical advice about functioning in the world. The advice includes such basic, practical guidance as figuring out that the new robot, who has not yet chosen a name, is seeing dogs everywhere because he's got a virus, and how to remove it. It also, when the new robot, who eventually chooses the name "Kleekai Greyhound," gets assigned a job in a diner and has to figure out what his boss means in telling him to "be mean" to the customers.

There is some cute back and forth, and as is obvious from the name adopted, the young robot retains his interest in dogs after the virus is gone. Its mentor, who goes by "Constant Killer," is slowly, unwillingly, charmed by its mentee.

After a while, I couldn't help but hope that Constant Killer was playing videogames. The evidence on that is disturbingly mixed.

Kleekai Greyhound matures into a more independent personality, and remains interesting and likable.

I wish I liked this story more than I do, but in the end, I found it only cute and a little charming.

This story is currently available as a free read on the website, and I am reviewing it voluntarily.

No comments:

Post a Comment