Verdict: AUTONOMOUSLY YOURS is an enjoyable read that does not attempt to answer questions it poses, but engages into deeper understandings of how people treat one another and what it means to be human.
While AUTONOMOUSLY YOURS setting is the future and deals with technology yet to be fully realized, the heart of the story has to deal with love and loss, and the way people are treated as objects, feelings that are very much present in life today. Posing the age old question of “if something can be created, should it?” the story will leave readers engaged and pondering the future possibilities.
Stories have been told of artificial intelligence ever since science fiction was first introduced into the vernacular: the idea of a sentient robot or android that evolves. With a subtle nod to Isaac Asimov, K.N. Parker explores a more lascivious side, taking the idea of a programmable lifeform to an expected place, but yet AUTONOMOUSLY YOURS is much more than that as it explores growth, emotions of not only these creations, but humans themselves.
“Hello, you must be the man for me.” Experiencing life through his latest accomplishment, Dr. Harold Okamura has broken the law and created the most realistic A.I. the world has ever seen. Sadly, his sponsor has less than noble objectives despite the century, as man’s lust for wealth and control over the weaker sex has not been tamed. Reading this story can be a little bit uncomfortable as Okamura and the reader are forced to watch his robot taken out for a test-run by three very different people with similarly lewd and yet entirely different expectations and goals. However, there is more to this robot than meets the eye, which becomes quickly apparent when Okamura meets with his business partner, Mr. Axell, a no nonsense businessman who does not handle disappointment well. Enlisting Okamura’s services, Axell has done his homework on the engineering and robotic genius, and is truly not surprised to see the inspiration in the robot’s design.
Love and loss can make people do the whacky however, and although on the surface Okamura is definitely dealing with those issues in the creation and observation of his robot, Parker throws in an unexpected twist that astute readers might catch in the details of his story.
Parker pens an engaging and easy read, describing actions in a very antiseptic way, never once glorifying the actions taking place on the page or to the robot from its three male testers. In fact, Parker’s approach is a very scientific one and opens the door to two very important observations, will man always treat the weaker sex as just objects and whether or not the doctor has betrayed his values and past to arrive at this point in his career.
As if that was not enough for readers to consider, Parker throws in one more twist in regards to the robots themselves. The idea behind artificial intelligence is for it to evolve, and the reader will watch as Parker is bombarded with all types of questions regarding feelings, emotions and what it feels like to be human and a robot.
AUTONOMOUSLY YOURS is an enjoyable read that does not attempt to answer questions it poses, but engages into deeper understandings of how people treat one another and what it means to be human.