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November 30, 2009

Eros, Philia, Agape By Rachel Swirsky

A bit late for this weeks Torque Control Short Story Club Story, but better late than never. The story is Eros, Philia, Agape by Rachel Swirsky published on Tor.com.

It’s a story of a woman falling in love with a robot, and a story that seemed to try everything in its power to make me dislike it. It was like a constant challenge to my tastes, which I found a bit annoying, because I wanted to like it, and parts of it I did like.

To start with I thought it was going to be a fantasy story, the description at the start was definitely evoking that feel:

He packed his antique silver serving spoons with the filigreed handles; the tea roses he’d nurtured in the garden window; his jade and garnet rings. He packed the hunk of gypsum-veined jasper that he’d found while strolling on the beach on the first night he’d come to Adriana, she leading him uncertainly across the wet sand, their bodies illuminated by the soft gold twinkling of the lights along the pier.

But then the story reveals the core plot, and I started to like it more. Not an original story, robot love, but the setting was intriguing. Then another hurdle to overcome, the main character was a rich kid, living on a trust fund, which made it hard to like her. Not very sympathetic. I’d have preferred some other reason for her being able to get a robot. But once I’d got over that the story picked up: nice background, got into the characters, nice writing.

Then all of a sudden it turned into a ChickLit story, or worse. Flowery and romantic and overly sentimental.

Then it recovered again.

Then I got bored.

Which is a shame, half of it is a great story that I enjoyed. The other half seemed intent on annoying me.

1 Comment

I sigh in your general direction. :-p