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Robot Evolution: Perfect Partners, Inc. Vols 1-5 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 377 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Ann Christy has this amazing ability to weave life's sweetest gifts and cruelest moments, with the gamut of raw human emotion it creates, into stories that grab at the truest parts of humanity.
As I imagine most readers did, I discovered this through the short story "PePrs" in the Future Chronicles anthology (it was also in Robot Chronicles). That story stood out the most for me, and so I looked for more set in the same near future world.
All the stories are good, with the last, "Posthumous," being the best. "PePrs" is a close second, and has a great twist. I noticed that the "PePrs" here is slightly different from the one in Future Chronicles. Not to give anything away, but in Robot Evolution's version, the protagonist is less sociopathic. In a way, I prefer the Future Chronicles version's somewhat darker ending, though I admit this one fits better with Christy's wider worldbuilding.
I highly recommend this, and I look forward to reading more of Christy's work.
Ann Christy gives us a more positive look into a future with sentient robots. PePrs started out as robots, with only the programs loaded onto them, but found that with human interaction and experience in the wider world, they truly become sentient, even obtaining the emotions that Star Trek's Data eagerly craved. The short stories in Robot Evolution are in chronological order instead of the order the author originally published them, allowing us to watch the growth of the PePrs as well as how they integrate into human civilization.
The echos of the past are brought forward into a possible future, showing us how our own bigotry might actually be holding us back more than technological advances. Christy's stories not only show how human a robot can be, but also bring forth topics such as robot rights and manumission. Are the robots free, or do they belong to their creators?
PePrs are a possible future, and one that we are given a glimpse into with our books, movies, and video games - who hasn't created a sentient Plumbot in Sims 3, after all? - and how we react to the possibility may determine if we end up as batteries in the Matrix or as a friend to someone who has the same emotions as us, but was just created a little bit differently. Perhaps this is what will define humanity... not just who we are inside, but if we can accept the unknown and unusual.
Every tale in this book works both as a standalone and adds to the greater whole. While I have my personal favorites, I enjoyed each of the short stories and novellas that make up this collection, and I look forward to reading more in the author's Perfect Partners, Inc. Universe!
While I own a few of the short stories and novellas individually, I was given a copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review.