“Article of Faith” is a 2008 science fiction short story by Mike Resnick. It is the tale of a robot who learns about God and wants to join the local parish – much to the chagrin of the human members of the congregation.
I’m A Sucker For Robot Stories
I admit it – ever since reading Isaac Asimov’s Robot novels 20 years ago I have loved robot stories. I especially like stories where the robot is striving to emulate human behavior in some way. From R. Daneel Olivaw to Data on Star Trek, I just can’t resist a good robot story – and “Article of Faith” certainly qualifies as a good robot story!
Are Robots Always Trying To Be More Like Humans?
Jackson is the new robot that cleans the church and tends to its grounds. But he is different than the previous cleaning robots – he is thoughtful and kind and asks some very deep questions concerning the nature of God. At first this is a pleasant surprise for Reverend Morris, who takes advantage of Jackson’s nature to practice his sermons. But as time goes on the Reverend learns that Jackson has bigger plans than just asking questions, and that makes the local congregation quite upset!
My Two Cents…
- I was surprised at how good this story was. I’m not sure why I was surprised, since I like most of Mike Resnick’s stories, but this one really caught me off guard. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a robot who was interested in the nature of God and faith.
- I also felt a bit of anger by the prejudice displayed in “Article of Faith”. Sure – robot prejudice has been done before, but there was just something about this story that made it seem more wrong than other stories with similar themes.
- Reverend Morris and Jackson were both very deep and interesting characters. I totally enjoyed reading about the conversations they had, and the effects those conversations had upon each of them.
Interesting Tidbits About This Story:
- Page Count: 12
- Word Count: 6,048
- “Article of Faith” was nominated for the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.
- My Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Where You Can Find “Article of Faith”:
- This story first appeared in the October 2008 edition of Jim Baen’s Universe, where you can still read it online for free.
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