Monday, February 12, 2018
All That Robot Shit by Rich Larson
"All That Robot Shit" by Rich Larson
All That Robot Shit was first published in Asimov Magazine, August 2016, issue 09| Later republished in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 edited by Rich Larson. You can read this story online here: http://www.asimovs.com/assets/1/6/AllThatRobot-RichLarson.pdf .
The story followed a robot named Carver Seven. Carver seven is a semi-intelligent robot who lived in a village on an island with other robots. Carver Seven's job is a carver. It carves things. Other robots in the village have other jobs. Some make spears, or clubs, or tend to the village in some way.
In the village there happened to only be one robot who was known as the Recycler. It recycled unused parts or whatever needed to be disposed. The Recycler was the one robot that Carver Seven trusted. The Recycler held a secret for Carver Seven.
On the island there is also a man, referred to as just the "man." His story unfolds as the story progressed. He became stranded on the island after some sort of accident and in a way befriended Carver Seven and vice versa. They converse while the robot learned to speak from the man's phrases. Carver Seven constantly repeats things he heard the man say, trying to put them into context, as a way to communicate.
Much of the story progressed while unfolding the relationship Carver Seven has with the man. The story is focused on the robots with the man as a side note. Focusing on the village of robots and the interplay of the society they have formed. Then something happened.
As always Rich Larson doesn't disappoint. I have yet to read a story by Larson that I regret reading. He has a great writing style and knows how to tell a hell of a story. There is a reason why his name appears on almost every magazine, anthology, or best of the year books. He knows what he's doing and this story is no different.
I love how the story examines what a future of robots or AI could possibly look like. Whether as an experiment or a world dominating force. What if mankind fucks us all over by creating robots that could destroy us and take over the world. A scary thought.
The exchanges between characters were great. You were quickly drawn to each character and had a stake in each of their lives. Each character felt unique and had their own voice. By the end of the story I was emotionally invested in the characters and what would happen to them.
The society of robots was interesting as well. An interesting vision of how robots might communicate with each other. How they might be able to power themselves with or without human intervention. The robots were very well thought out.
This story was not that long actually quite a quick read. Yet Larson managed to make it seem like a big story with a grand scope of things. He put a lot of energy into a small impact. Getting hit with a great story covering so many different aspects of life.
Loved this story. I can't wait to read my next Rich Larson story!
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