“Eros, Philia, Agape” is a 2009 science fiction novelette by Rachel Swirsky. It is about a woman who is struggling to cope with a divorce from her robot husband.
Another Smart Robot
I have read a few stories in the past couple years about robots who are too intelligent for their own good. All their deep thinking leads to deep questions which inevitably leads to self-destructive behavior. Whew, its a good thing only robots do that and not us humans! 😉
Non-spoiler Summary in a Nutshell
Adriana is a grieving woman. Of course she hasn’t always been that way, in spite of her overbearing father, self-righteous sisters or quarrelsome friends. In fact it was after her father’s death that she purchased Lucian, a robot companion. And although he caused embarrassment and jealousy for others in her life, Adriana grew to love him – so much so that she actually gave him his freedom. That’s when all the problems started, for a free robot doesn’t always do what you want him to do… does he?
My Two Cents…
- This was my first Rachel Swirsky story, and wow – she is a great writer! The descriptions she gives in the story are amazing.
- Although “Eros, Philia, Agape” is a slow paced tragedy, I still found myself drawn in by how beautiful the story (and the language used to describe it) was.
- It was fun trying to figure out which type of love went with which relationship!
Interesting Tidbits About This Story:
- Page Count: 20
- Word Count: 11,799
- Did you know that Rachel Swirsky is a Master’s of Fine Arts student at the Iowa Writers Workshop? Yep. You can learn more about this author on her web site.
- “Eros, Philia, Agape” was nominated for the 2010 Hugo Award, Sturgeon Award and Locus Award for Best Novelette – impressive!
Where You Can Find Eros, Philia, Agape:
- This story was originally published in March 2009 on the Tor.com web site – where you can still read it for free.
- “Eros, Philia, Agape” is also included in Jonathan Strahan’s 2010 anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 4.
Craving More Science Fiction Short Stories?
If you liked “Eros, Philia, Agape” then you may also enjoy Galatea’s Stepchildren by Sam S. Kepfield – about a female robot who is hired as a secretary by a nice, educated man, and all the things she learns from him.