Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Guest Book Review by Joseph Green: ANNIE BOT by "Sierra Greer"


Annie Bot by "Sierra Greer"


This short novel is a far departure from the ray guns, rocket ships and Colonies-on-Mars that dominated early science fiction. Annie is a sex doll, but one provided with high intelligence by the incorporation of advanced AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) programs. Her body, which had a human embryo as part of its starter base, is externally so realistic she can “pass” in a crowd, despite being a battery-operated machine. The thrust of the novel, told from Annie’s Point of View, is her struggle to become fully humanor at least to free herself from the built-in compulsion to always please her owner, primarily as his sex partner.  A major second theme is said owner falling in love with his sex doll, after a failed marriage and an unwillingness to try again with an actual (and capable of resisting him) woman. The interactions of these two characters form the bulk of the novel.


Annie provides a great deal to think about, and in places could lead you into deep philosophical queriessuch as what is truly human, and how do we judge. Because Annie was created as a sex doll, the novel has many scenes where she fulfills her built-in compulsions. But she is also “more than”, and as these other characteristics surface she begins to fight for an independent existence. This brings the question of what actually is a “human” to the fore.


"Sierra Greer" is a pseudonym for Caragh O’Brien, who is an established writer of primarily YA SF. It seems clear that with this breakout novel she has expanded her horizons with an adult and very thoughtful examination of a quite possible, and little-explored, near-future world.


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