Friday, 20 July 2018

#ReadShortStories about feminist robots (126-130)


Not a huge amount of variety in this batch of short stories as I continue reading Mother of Invention, the anthology edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts. On the one hand, that does mean that this post is just presenting a chunk of anthology stories. On the other hand, clearly I'm enjoying Mother of Invention enough that I'm not feeling the need to seek out other stories to break up the theme.

This was a solid batch of stories that I enjoyed fairly consistently. That said, my favourite was the last in this batch, "Sexy Robot Heroes" by Sandra McDonald, which was delightful and thoughtful and a consistently interesting read. A bit surprisingly, this is also the only story in this batch by a new-to-me author. Hmm.


Junkyard Kraken by DK Mok — A roboticist builds an ocean-exploration robot after failing to get funding for it. A fun story, especially thanks to the inclusion of other AI robots, such that it can be forgiving for being a bit unrealistic. Source: Mother of Invention edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts

An Errant Holy Spark by Bogi Takács — A Jewish AI growing up, learning, and trying to talk to aliens. Written in the unique style I’ve come to expect from this author, the inner voice of the AI was very different to conventional (robot/AI) tropes. An interesting story and premise, with baffling aliens. Source: Mother of Invention edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts

The Goose Hair of One Thousand Miles by Stephanie Lai — A story written in the form of an annotated translation of a wuxia story. The story itself is particularly bizarre, to my eye, because of the way the robots are included and thanks to the aspects the commentary focuses on. Even so, it engages with ideas of colonialism well. Source: Mother of Invention edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts

The Art of Broken Things by Joanne Anderton — An eerie story based on a really interesting premise/theme. I liked the idea and the way different aspects of the story meshed together, but at the same time it creeped me out a bit (mostly in a good way). Source: Mother of Invention edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts

Sexy Robot Heroes by Sandra McDonald — I really liked this story. It featured a trans girl mechanic, a whole barge of girl mechanics, and androids bound to serve them. It was the right mix of sentimental and sensible. Source: Mother of Invention edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts

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