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FICTION “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker “It Was Educational” by J.B. Park “Security Check” by Han Song, translated by Ken Liu “The Servant” by Emily Devenport “Dying Young” by Peter M. Ball “Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck” by Neal Asher NON-FICTION “"Fans Are Slans": A Study in Campbellian Influence” by Mark Cole “Writing for Video Games: A Conversation with E. Lily Yu, Yoon FICTION “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker “It Was Educational” by J.B. Park “Security Check” by Han Song, translated by Ken Liu “The Servant” by Emily Devenport “Dying Young” by Peter M. Ball “Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck” by Neal Asher NON-FICTION “"Fans Are Slans": A Study in Campbellian Influence” by Mark Cole “Writing for Video Games: A Conversation with E. Lily Yu, Yoon Ha Lee, Robert Reed, Seth Dickinson, and Karl Schroeder” by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro “Another Word: Hipsters of Zombieland” by Emily Devenport “Editor's Desk: Editing Reality” by Neil Clarke


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FICTION “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker “It Was Educational” by J.B. Park “Security Check” by Han Song, translated by Ken Liu “The Servant” by Emily Devenport “Dying Young” by Peter M. Ball “Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck” by Neal Asher NON-FICTION “"Fans Are Slans": A Study in Campbellian Influence” by Mark Cole “Writing for Video Games: A Conversation with E. Lily Yu, Yoon FICTION “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker “It Was Educational” by J.B. Park “Security Check” by Han Song, translated by Ken Liu “The Servant” by Emily Devenport “Dying Young” by Peter M. Ball “Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck” by Neal Asher NON-FICTION “"Fans Are Slans": A Study in Campbellian Influence” by Mark Cole “Writing for Video Games: A Conversation with E. Lily Yu, Yoon Ha Lee, Robert Reed, Seth Dickinson, and Karl Schroeder” by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro “Another Word: Hipsters of Zombieland” by Emily Devenport “Editor's Desk: Editing Reality” by Neil Clarke

30 review for Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 107 (Clarkesworld Magazine, #107)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Currently this review is only for the short story "Today I am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker, which has just been nominated for a 2015 Nebula award. Clarkesworld magazine is free online, however, and I'll probably be adding some of the other stories in this issue to this review later. I'll be reading and reviewing all of the current Nebula-nominated short stories, novelettes and novellas that are available online to read for free, and likely at least some of the non-freebies, as part of my current Currently this review is only for the short story "Today I am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker, which has just been nominated for a 2015 Nebula award. Clarkesworld magazine is free online, however, and I'll probably be adding some of the other stories in this issue to this review later. I'll be reading and reviewing all of the current Nebula-nominated short stories, novelettes and novellas that are available online to read for free, and likely at least some of the non-freebies, as part of my current position as editor of the Short Fiction Monday ("SFM") feature on the Fantasy Literature website. "Today I am Paul" - 4.5 stars. Review first posted at www.FantasyLiterature.com: An android with medical programming is the primary caretaker of Mildred, an aging woman with dementia. Mildred’s son and granddaughter visit her regularly, but Mildred lives alone in her home. So Mildred’s family ordered a caregiver robot with an expensive “emulation net,” a set of neural networks and feedback systems that allows the robot to closely emulate people in Mildred’s life. When Mildred asks for her son Paul, the robot increases its height, changes its appearance and voice, and pretends to be Paul. When she thinks her granddaughter Anna is visiting, the robot extends its fake hair to its maximum length (which isn’t nearly long enough, but Mildred doesn’t seem to notice): today the robot is Anna. The android struggles with the conflict between its emulation net, which requires it to act as much as possible like the actual person it is emulating, and its empathy net, which requires it to do and say the things that are best for Mildred. The issue of how we care for our elderly is part of the backdrop of “Today I am Paul”; the makers of the android use the rather unsettling slogan “You can be there for your loved ones even when you’re not.” But at the same time the robot’s emulation ability enables it ― and by extension the reader ― to truly understand and sympathize with the motivations and concerns of Mildred’s relatives. “Today I am Paul” is a bittersweet and moving exploration, not just of aging and caregiving, but also of the fears that divide us and the relationships that bind us. It's sentimental, but I highly recommend it. Free online at Clarkesworld magazine. By the way, another Fantasy Literature reviewer, Bill, also wrote a review of "Today I am Paul" for the SFM feature that was just posted today, which I think is more insightful than my review here. I'm totally jealous, but you should read his review here, as well as some of our other SFF short fiction reviews.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Quite interesting short about a robot working as a hospice nurse who happens to exhibit the same symptoms of a bipolar disorder without the violence. :) Am I a bit weirded out by it? No, not really. But I DO feel a ton of sympathy for the poor robot. I love the idea of the empathy net, however, but my god it does a real number on the robot's mind. Read in The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume One. Quite interesting short about a robot working as a hospice nurse who happens to exhibit the same symptoms of a bipolar disorder without the violence. :) Am I a bit weirded out by it? No, not really. But I DO feel a ton of sympathy for the poor robot. I love the idea of the empathy net, however, but my god it does a real number on the robot's mind. Read in The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume One.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Here, the author invites us to consider the perspective of a robot designed as a home healthcare aide. The android emulates the family members of an Alzheimer's patient, providing emotional services as well as performing medical tasks. It's a believable projection - and also very sad. Here, the author invites us to consider the perspective of a robot designed as a home healthcare aide. The android emulates the family members of an Alzheimer's patient, providing emotional services as well as performing medical tasks. It's a believable projection - and also very sad.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    I might come back and read the 5 other short stories featured in this instalment of Clarksworld magazine but for now this review ad rating is just for Today I am Paul by Martin L. Shoemaker. Today I am Paul was the best sort of sci-fi short fiction. It was the kind that imediately grabbed ones attention and sucked them into the story while also being the sort of story that got the balance spot on between the thought-provoking ideas explored within the story and engaging the readers emotions. Thi I might come back and read the 5 other short stories featured in this instalment of Clarksworld magazine but for now this review ad rating is just for Today I am Paul by Martin L. Shoemaker. Today I am Paul was the best sort of sci-fi short fiction. It was the kind that imediately grabbed ones attention and sucked them into the story while also being the sort of story that got the balance spot on between the thought-provoking ideas explored within the story and engaging the readers emotions. This tale was nominated for a 2016 Nebula award and appeared in 4 end of the year best short fiction collections. The nomination and recognition was well deserved in my opinion. I'll have to track down the winning short story from that year as it must have been pretty great to beat this one! Today I Am Paul follows the tale of an android who cares for an elderly Alzheimer’s patient. As part of its care it pretends to be various members of the woman's family that have come to visit. It mimicks their behavior by studying them when they do visit but its behavioral imitation software is regulated by an empathy back up program to make sure nothing goes awry and the android is always providing the best possible care for its patient. As an added bonus it also did its best to provide comfort to the visiting family members. I felt like the story was an engaging and poignant one. The ability of the android to analyze the behavior of the family members and mimic them gave us real insight to how they thought and felt. This meant we learned how the situation was effecting not only the android's patient, Millie, but her family as well. I felt that was well done. The other real plus for the story was the fact that the android itself was fairly likeable. The human tale was an emotionally engaging one as one might expect given the very real subject matter but I felt like the sci-fi elements of the tale were also quite interesting. We live in a world with an ageing population so it is no great leap to think that if androids ever become a real thing then medical ones who care for the elderly like the one in this story would likely be one of the most common uses for them! All in all I felt like was a good tale, and I'm glad the author decided to expand the idea into a full novel, so I'll definitely give Today I am Carey a go! Rating: 5 stars. Audio Note: This was narrated by Kate Baker. I feel like she did a good job performing this story. I listened to this one for free via Clarksworld magazine.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    3.5 stars. I only read one story in this issue, "The Servant" by Emily Devenport, as I wanted to see how this compared with the full-length novel Medusa Uploaded. The short is pretty good, and provides enough information about Oichi and the situation aboard the generation ship to convince me to check out the novel. 3.5 stars. I only read one story in this issue, "The Servant" by Emily Devenport, as I wanted to see how this compared with the full-length novel Medusa Uploaded. The short is pretty good, and provides enough information about Oichi and the situation aboard the generation ship to convince me to check out the novel.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ~~Poulomi Sylphrena Tonk$~~

    4 Android stars! This story came to me as a part of a Flash readathon in a group read. Sci-fi emboldened with an emotional undercurrent as a droid tries to cope up with the frailing memories of an Alzheimer's patient, this short story is thoroughly engaging. I liked the way the author showed Mildred's dwindling emotions in the fire accident, oblivious to the danger to her life. The droid was an interesting character, appearing more humane than one would expect of its species. "But somewhere in 4 Android stars! This story came to me as a part of a Flash readathon in a group read. Sci-fi emboldened with an emotional undercurrent as a droid tries to cope up with the frailing memories of an Alzheimer's patient, this short story is thoroughly engaging. I liked the way the author showed Mildred's dwindling emotions in the fire accident, oblivious to the danger to her life. The droid was an interesting character, appearing more humane than one would expect of its species. "But somewhere in the tension between these nets, between empathy and playing a character, there is a third element balancing the two, and that element is aware of its role and its responsibilities. That element, for lack of a better term, is me." Overall, a well written piece. Highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    Such a sweet, moving story. One of the few sci-fi stories I have read which focuses solely on the positive aspects of AI, it also explores the importance of family and the impact of loss.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    This was an incredibly sad short story. It's about an AI who has the ability to alter it's appearance. It's job is to take care of a woman with Alzheimers. It would frequently have to portray one of the woman's family members to prevent her from becoming too agitated and keep her thinking she has family around most of the time. It would be great if this science fiction became fact. This was an incredibly sad short story. It's about an AI who has the ability to alter it's appearance. It's job is to take care of a woman with Alzheimers. It would frequently have to portray one of the woman's family members to prevent her from becoming too agitated and keep her thinking she has family around most of the time. It would be great if this science fiction became fact.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    God that was heart wrenching.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    “That third part of me wonders when I think like that.” A poignant story about a very-possible future with AI android care takers who provide companionship and emotional support for those who suffer dementia. An unintended consequence of this machine’s configuration is that it is aware of itself. “Where Millie’s slate fills a little more each day Mildred’s is erased bit-by-bit. Well-conceived and executed from the point of view of the machine. A story that may be prophetic; not all will find comfor “That third part of me wonders when I think like that.” A poignant story about a very-possible future with AI android care takers who provide companionship and emotional support for those who suffer dementia. An unintended consequence of this machine’s configuration is that it is aware of itself. “Where Millie’s slate fills a little more each day Mildred’s is erased bit-by-bit. Well-conceived and executed from the point of view of the machine. A story that may be prophetic; not all will find comfort in that idea.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Soorya

    Very well-written medical SF, from the perspective of a robot who cares for an Alzheimer’s patient. I think this is the best short story I’ve read this year - it’s very absorbing and Shoemaker does a lot with very little. Definitely a deserving Nebula nominee. Read it here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/shoem... Very well-written medical SF, from the perspective of a robot who cares for an Alzheimer’s patient. I think this is the best short story I’ve read this year - it’s very absorbing and Shoemaker does a lot with very little. Definitely a deserving Nebula nominee. Read it here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/shoem...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    An excellent short story combining limited AI, an android, & an Alzheimer's patient told from the android's point of view. Even so, it manages to be both heart-wrenching & thoughtful. Is this what the future might bring? Read it for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/shoem... An excellent short story combining limited AI, an android, & an Alzheimer's patient told from the android's point of view. Even so, it manages to be both heart-wrenching & thoughtful. Is this what the future might bring? Read it for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/shoem...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lance Schonberg

    Heavy emotional impact from this short story. As we continue to look down the throat of aging demographics, our technology is going to have to adapt. And so are we. This story has the difficult task of making me look both back and forward, and it nearly manages to pull a tear at the end when that's complete. Heavy emotional impact from this short story. As we continue to look down the throat of aging demographics, our technology is going to have to adapt. And so are we. This story has the difficult task of making me look both back and forward, and it nearly manages to pull a tear at the end when that's complete.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jerry-Book

    An android designed to take care of an elderly patient with alzheimer's disease. The android can mimic all of the important people in the patient's life. This is only a short story but it is very touching. Perhaps it is the future. The author draws a good comparison between Millie, the grandchild, and Mildred, the elderly patient. Each day Millie gains a bit and each day Mildred loses a bit. Since we just went through this experience with my 93 year old father-in-law, this short story strikes al An android designed to take care of an elderly patient with alzheimer's disease. The android can mimic all of the important people in the patient's life. This is only a short story but it is very touching. Perhaps it is the future. The author draws a good comparison between Millie, the grandchild, and Mildred, the elderly patient. Each day Millie gains a bit and each day Mildred loses a bit. Since we just went through this experience with my 93 year old father-in-law, this short story strikes almost too close to home. It certainly would be nice if there were nurse androids like "Paul" the robot.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    Wonderful take in aging, mental instabiliy, and the emotions attached to both via a elderly attendant android.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Only Read Today I am Paul out of this entry, was a fascinating read about a robot caring for an woman with Alzheimer's. Only Read Today I am Paul out of this entry, was a fascinating read about a robot caring for an woman with Alzheimer's.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Story of a sensitive robot carer. Shortlisted for the Nebula short story Awards 2016

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jasper

    Note: only a review of Today I am Paul originally posted at: http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2015... I guess I got a way of finding stories that are emotional. Today I am Paul mights not have the title of one, but trust me this is one big emotional rollercoaster. Imagine a future where healthcare is provided with androids (and not the Baymax kind). Today I am Paul offers a near future experience in this field. The story starts of with the question of where Paul is and soon the reply comes. But bef Note: only a review of Today I am Paul originally posted at: http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2015... I guess I got a way of finding stories that are emotional. Today I am Paul mights not have the title of one, but trust me this is one big emotional rollercoaster. Imagine a future where healthcare is provided with androids (and not the Baymax kind). Today I am Paul offers a near future experience in this field. The story starts of with the question of where Paul is and soon the reply comes. But before that you learn that there is something that can change it's appearance, cheek line and eyes colors etcetera. Completely emulating a person. Meet Medical Care Android BRKCX-01932-217JH-98662, who takes care of the old lady Mildred. As I said this android can emulate, copy cat people. What I could make up of the story is that Mildred has lost some people and is probably suffering from dementia. The family members of Mildred either life not closeby, have busy lives or are dead the sole caretaking fall on Android. But this doesn't come without some tricky bits, as one moment Mildred remembers Paul, her son or Susan her daughter or her husband Henry in a completely different way. It has to switch fast between the persons he is emulating. And more than once it is a close call and the last thing you want to have is a dementing person being up set. Anyway, all is going just as it should be until one terrible day when the house of Mildred burns down and she becomes wounded. Burn marks and smoke inhalation. Android does it's best with taking care of her but has to wait for the paramedics to take Mildred to the hospital. But due to the damage she had suffered in the fire, she is beyond saving. In the continuation of this lies the true beauty of the story and one that you will have to find out by yourself. I must urge you to to completely scroll down to the bottom of the story because that will be a spoiler for you. I must say that I am very impressed with this short story that Martin L. Schoemaker wrote down. It has a definite coolness factor to it due to the android and the advanced care he is giving. It could well be our next step in modern medicine. HOwever where Today I am Paul gets it's true strength from is the big emotional side of the story. How you see Mildred interaction with the things that she still knows, when she gets upset, it genuinely feels as what it means to be upset. The ending of the story is also a big plus. One that will cause you to wow. I am going to be honest but this is one of the best short stories that I have read so far this year. Be sure not to miss it on Clarkesworld

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaffa Kintigh

    Dementia is heartbreaking to watch in a loved one and incredibly hard to fully comprehend. However, this beautiful and amazing tale forces the issue by confronting and analyzing an elderly woman's growing dementia and the reactions of those around her. A high-end medical android gains sentience as it's designed to empathize with its Alzheimer's stricken patient, Mildred, and emulate whomever she mistakes the android to be at any given hour. Sometimes, it intuitively becomes whomever she needs it Dementia is heartbreaking to watch in a loved one and incredibly hard to fully comprehend. However, this beautiful and amazing tale forces the issue by confronting and analyzing an elderly woman's growing dementia and the reactions of those around her. A high-end medical android gains sentience as it's designed to empathize with its Alzheimer's stricken patient, Mildred, and emulate whomever she mistakes the android to be at any given hour. Sometimes, it intuitively becomes whomever she needs it to be at any given point, such as her husband who passed away two years ago. Mildred has no memory of that loss, nor of her 5 y.o. granddaughter that comes to visit. Her older granddaughter Anna is also commonly emulated by the droid. Most often, the droid portrays Mildred's son [and Anna's father], Paul: This morning she imagines Paul, so that is who I am. Synthesizing Paul's voice is the easiest part, thanks to the multimodal dynamic speakers in my throat. "Good morning, Ma. I brought you some flowers." I always bring flowers. Mildred appreciates them no matter whom I am emulating. The flowers make her smile during 87% of my "visits." "Oh, thank you," Mildred says, "you're such a good son." Things get trickier when Paul or his wife Susan come around as the droid tries to make everyone calm and happy. But with such a charged situation, the challenge is daunting. Even more challenging, is when a fire breaks out on the lower level of the house--especially with Mildred wary of strangers, the outdoors and emergencies . . . This story is heartbreaking in its honesty and poignant in its telling as most anyone who's lived with a loved one struggling with dementia will recognize. This tale is highly recommended. The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2016 edited by Rich Horton, which I received directly from Prime Books. I've previously read this author's "Unrefined".

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I'm being a bit more intense about tabling stories for later that don't hook me right away. I'm trying to get through all the 2015 Clarkesworlds before 31 March 2016 (for Hugo nominations.) Eep! "The Servant" by Emily Devenport - 5 stars (14,402 words) Immersive gorgeous piece; anything I can say would lessen how cool it is. And thanks to it being Novelette-length, I don't have to weigh this work with other candidates. Nominating for Hugo Best Novelette. "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker - 4 I'm being a bit more intense about tabling stories for later that don't hook me right away. I'm trying to get through all the 2015 Clarkesworlds before 31 March 2016 (for Hugo nominations.) Eep! "The Servant" by Emily Devenport - 5 stars (14,402 words) Immersive gorgeous piece; anything I can say would lessen how cool it is. And thanks to it being Novelette-length, I don't have to weigh this work with other candidates. Nominating for Hugo Best Novelette. "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker - 4 stars Thought-provoking piece on sentimental medical bots. "Security Check" by Han Song (trans. by Ken Liu) - 3 stars Paranoid dystopian future with "sanitizing" replication. Absolutely loved the use of the phrase "neo-crony-capitalism."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amogha

    As children, we see soldiers in our parents. Images of strength stay rooted in our minds. On growing up, the receding hairline, stooping shoulders, tired and tormented eyes are signs we choose to ignore because somewhere in our minds, we still hold on to the image of what they were. But, there are times, when you see that image is crushed, that what is left of them is a shell and all you have are memories to fill into the broken bits to somehow make it seem whole again. Such a phase of life is d As children, we see soldiers in our parents. Images of strength stay rooted in our minds. On growing up, the receding hairline, stooping shoulders, tired and tormented eyes are signs we choose to ignore because somewhere in our minds, we still hold on to the image of what they were. But, there are times, when you see that image is crushed, that what is left of them is a shell and all you have are memories to fill into the broken bits to somehow make it seem whole again. Such a phase of life is devastating to say the least. I have rated this story high because it hit home, so hard. Playing the role of a care-giver is tough. In this story, even if it seems that it is easier for an AI driven machine to fill in the shoes, the psychologically jagged voids that such situations create on the immediate family members (also partly on the AI) is aptly described. I can do more than analyse this story from an emotional standpoint but for now, I will leave it here, with wistful thinking. Note : Read this as part of a flash readathon by BB book-club. Hence, the micro review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Original fiction: "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker - I wasn't taken by this android healthcare worker tale at first but it snuck up on me and won me over by the end. "It Was Educational" by J.B. Park - interesting look at a sim-game of civil unrest. "Security Check" by Han Song - Not bad but this translated Chinese tale didn't do much for me. I didn't buy the "crazy America choose security over everything else" premise. "The Servant" by Emily Devenport - this novelette is my favorite story o Original fiction: "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker - I wasn't taken by this android healthcare worker tale at first but it snuck up on me and won me over by the end. "It Was Educational" by J.B. Park - interesting look at a sim-game of civil unrest. "Security Check" by Han Song - Not bad but this translated Chinese tale didn't do much for me. I didn't buy the "crazy America choose security over everything else" premise. "The Servant" by Emily Devenport - this novelette is my favorite story of the issue. Oppression by the elites on a generation ship. Expand this into a novel/series please!! Non-fiction: Mark Cole contributes a fascinating article on Campbell's influence on the use of the idea of "psionics" in SF. Emily Devenport's Another Word column talks about the ways that zombie stories can be hopeful and not hopeless. (Even if Clarkesworld itself is still anti-zombie)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    Review for “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker An android caretaker's PoV about his mission to care for an elderly - sounds like a real possibility for the future, especially as I think that people would be much more inclined to entrust their elderly to "a robot" than their children. There are some similarities with Asimov's Robbie, which I also deeply enjoyed. Review for “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker An android caretaker's PoV about his mission to care for an elderly - sounds like a real possibility for the future, especially as I think that people would be much more inclined to entrust their elderly to "a robot" than their children. There are some similarities with Asimov's Robbie, which I also deeply enjoyed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heather Pagano

    Some fun sf stories in this issue. The types of stories were pretty standard, but in most cases the settings and characters made them engaging and interesting. I enjoyed the articles and interview, too.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    A caretaker android with the ability to not only care for an Alzheimer's patient named Mildred but to "become" family members by understanding their conflicting wants and needs tells this story. Sad and very moving. Please read the full review here. A caretaker android with the ability to not only care for an Alzheimer's patient named Mildred but to "become" family members by understanding their conflicting wants and needs tells this story. Sad and very moving. Please read the full review here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Ambrose

    This story made me cry. Beautifully done. Merged review: Loved "Today I am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker. This story made me cry. Beautifully done. Merged review: Loved "Today I am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joanne G.

    "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker "Today I Am Paul" by Martin L. Shoemaker

  28. 5 out of 5

    Albert Dunberg

    Today I Am Paul - ****

  29. 5 out of 5

    G33z3r

    I see some similarities to Asimovs "Robbie", since both involve robots acting as care providers for a human. Main difference is Robbie is designed as a nanny while "Medical Care Android BRKCX-01932-217JH-98662" (who interestingly never gets any more familiar designation of its own) provides palliative care for the aging. It's also more sophisticated, including chameleon circuitry to allow for impersonations, not to mention an "empathy net." I think the idea of elderly care is more likely to provi I see some similarities to Asimovs "Robbie", since both involve robots acting as care providers for a human. Main difference is Robbie is designed as a nanny while "Medical Care Android BRKCX-01932-217JH-98662" (who interestingly never gets any more familiar designation of its own) provides palliative care for the aging. It's also more sophisticated, including chameleon circuitry to allow for impersonations, not to mention an "empathy net." I think the idea of elderly care is more likely to provide a basis for automation than childcare. People are just more squeamish leaving their kids to machines (like Mrs. Watson in "Robbie".) And, there are going to be a lot of us drooling old people lying around in the future. On the other hand, the personality emulation seems a little more specialized. Not all old people are that easily confused, and it seems like a rather expensive add-on. I rather liked "Today I Am Paul". Nice robot, bring on our mechanical overlords! Merged review: Emily Devenport's "The Servant" is a story of class divisions on a generation ship, and a smart girl following the legacy of her parents. Very well-written space opera adventure. **** Martin L. Shoemaker's "Today I Am Paul" is a pretty good story about a robot with empathy circuitry designed to care for elderly patients, and its experience with an Alzheimer's patient. Works surprisingly well. ***1/2* J.B. Park's "It Was Educational" has a visitor to a virtual reality simulation of a revolution, which may be available for education or some sort of voyeurism/entertainment. Worked well enough in its short length. *** Han Song's "Security Check" maybe a story about our obsession with security over freedom, or maybe just proof that the entire universe is a hologram. Weird, but interesting. ***

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kamas Kirian

    Ooh, that was excellent. It had me crying by the end. I kept picturing my paternal grandmother (90 last fall) even though she isn’t bedridden nor suffering from dementia. Mildred’s plight reminded me of my maternal grandfather’s last days as my Mother and aunts took care of him. It was short and well paced. Not overly technical but descriptive. Well done Mr. Shoemaker. Read online, there were no formatting issues Merged review: This review covers only the one short story I've read, recommended to m Ooh, that was excellent. It had me crying by the end. I kept picturing my paternal grandmother (90 last fall) even though she isn’t bedridden nor suffering from dementia. Mildred’s plight reminded me of my maternal grandfather’s last days as my Mother and aunts took care of him. It was short and well paced. Not overly technical but descriptive. Well done Mr. Shoemaker. Read online, there were no formatting issues Merged review: This review covers only the one short story I've read, recommended to me by Kary English, Martin L. Shoemaker's Today I Am Paul This was an excellent little tale about an medical care android becoming sentient. It wasn't overly technical, but brought about a great emotional response from me. Perhaps it was just the subject matter of dementia and end of life, but I was crying by the end. I kept picturing my grandmother in Mildred's place. It was quite a short story, but well paced and well written.

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