A recent widower, needing loving care for his three young children, orders a cybernetic "grandmother". While two of the children accept her, one of his daughters fiercely rejects her, with near tragic consequences.
George is a widower with three children and he is being criticized for trying to raise his children on his own. His son Tom shows him an ad from a company with the motto 'I Sing the Body Electric' that advertises an electronic data processing system to meet anyone's needs - essentially, a robot. They set off and everyone seems to like the idea of having a grandmotherly robot housekeeper except for Anne, who has yet to come to grips with her mother's death. Her rejection of the new member of their family will have serious repercussions but also lead to closure. Written by
A fable? Most assuredly. But who's to say at some distant moment there might be an assembly line producing a gentle product in the form of a grandmother, whose stock in trade is love? Fable, sure - but who's to say?
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I remember the story in a Ray Bradbury anthology. He had a thing for robots. This is a pretty lightweight effort. Not that it's a bad story; it's just that there are so many unanswered questions. Why did the cruel aunt not return at some point? How much does this cost? It's just taken for granted. That's why Ray Bradbury is a fantasist and less of a science fiction writer. The story is much more about the little girl coming to grips with the loss of her mother than the science. Robots have this thing about sacrifice and this comes through. Anyway, it all works out but we are left to guess the humanity of the robot. It's a feel good episode, but it isn't as gut wrenching as the reality of the little girl.
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