Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kurt Vonnegut's "Jenny" (short story, robot): Sad love story of a romantic

A brilliant engineer builds "Jenny", a robot refrigerator - a fridge that can walk around, & with a woman's flexible face mask attached to the door with springs. It connects with its "brain", a big computer nearby, via radio; computer also connects to a controller in the form of over-sized shoes with control buttons under toes - an experienced wearer can use them to make Jenny say things & give appropriate expressions.

Then he begins finding his wife "imperfect" in ways Jenny need not be, & a love story with the unreal begins, ultimately leading to a sad ending.

See also.

  1. Lester del Rey's "Helen O'Loy": A far more famous story of a human inventor falling in love with his feminine robot creation.


  1. "A man who hasn't built up a certain immunity to love through constant exposure to it is in danger of all but killed by love when the first exposure comes."
  2. "I wound up loving her as a human being, as a miraculous, one-of-a-kind, moody muddle of faults & virtues--part child, part woman, part goddess, & no more consistent than a putty slide-rule."

Fact sheet.

First published: Kurt Vonnegut's "While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Short Fiction" (2011).
Rating: A.
Related: Stories of Kurt Vonnegut.


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