Omega to Alpha: Love with the Perfect Robot, Cai Marshall & Tom Cayler

I'm a sucker for robot stories, particularly the--what would you call it, coming of age?--variety where they contemplate and evolve. Probably the lingering remnants of my philosophy background. This was a fun read about a spunky search-and-rescue robot who gets loose and doesn't want to go back to the lab and the violence-driven scientist who built her.

The concept is there, and the chapter endings have punch that keeps the story moving. I feel like it needed to travel--more locations--one of the things I learned from George Lucas. And the end felt a bit abrupt to me because it doesn't resolve the robot's situation and doesn't give you a final scene to the romance: we know he's there, but she's--how will she react?

There are two particular issues that interest me about robots-on-the-loose stories:

The first is the need for secrecy: People can't know this is a robot. It's a problem of integration, in a way, and not unique to robots (monsters like Frankenstein, aliens like E.T., occasionally superheroes). There's a strong sense throughout that if people knew this 'other' was among them they would capture/study/weaponize/kill it. But how does anything conscious function satisfactorily in isolation or perpetually in disguise? So that's one problem for the story like this to tackle.

The second is the Pinocchio problem: Does the 'other' try to become human? How well does it succeed? Can it succeed? More interestingly, should it?