Digital Culture –| 2008

electronic art, technology and culture

Helen O’Loy – Robot Love

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Helen OLoy

Helen O'Loy

Two young men, a mechanic and a medical student, collaborate on modifying a household robot, originally meant only to cook food and clean, in order to allow it to have emotions. They are more successful than intended, and the robot, named “Helen O’Loy” falls in love with the mechanic. He initially flees her advances, but later marries her and moves with her to a rural farm. Over subsequent decades, her features are artificially aged to match those of her human husband and, when he inevitably dies, she asks to be shut off and cremated with him, so that nobody would ever discover their secret.

In the final line of the story it is revealed that the medical student, who had been narrating the story, had secretly been in love with her too.

Helen O’Loy was among the stories selected in 1970 by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one the best science fiction short stories of all time. As such, it was published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.

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Written by schappim

September 21, 2008 at 9:14 pm

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