Rachel Swirsky's "Eros, Philia, Agape" (novelette, love story, free): This android must find its own identity
Good enough read, but it has been done before. Probably the closest read I can off-hand recollect is the third (I think) story in Adam Link series of Eando Binder: girl falls in love with robot, but robot must break her heart & go out to be alone to figure out his own identity & how he can fit in among the humans.
Background & environment of the story will likely resonate better in some cultures than with others. This is not a story for global audiences.
Story summary.Adriana is a lonely woman. To fight loneliness, she's purchased a custom-made android, Lucian, as companion. They fall in love. She helps him gain human (& property?) rights.
He figures his true status is that of a slave. Since he's free, he exercises his right to go away to meditate & discover his own identity - with no assurance that he will ever return.
So we have Adriana lonely again, & with a broken heart. Their adopted 4 year old daughter, Rose, & a pet bird provide additional opportunity for sentimental scenes.
- Torque Control has a very long discussion of this story.
- I'm not clear what the title means.
"Eros" probably has something to do with love.
"Philia" with sex? But there is no overt sex here.
"Agape" - wonderment? Again I don't see how it relates to the story.
Update 18 April 2010: Micah clarifies the title in comments below. Thanks Micah.
- Rich Horton (ed)'s "The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2010 Edition".
- Jonathan Strahan (ed)'s "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 4" (2010).
Fact sheet.First published: tor.com, 3 March 2009.
Download full text from publisher's site.
Nominated for Hugo Award 2010 in novelette category.
Related: Stories of Rachel Swirsky.