Asimov set the entire basis for Robots with his Three Laws. He then wrote a brilliant piece of robot work called 'Bicentennial Man' where a Robot with an elastic brain realises that he wants to be free and sets about a path that takes him 200 years to realise that dream.
Rachel Swirsky writes a brilliant story about a family torn apart by one member leaving the family. As you read the story you empathize with both parties and feel the pain of the woman left behind to deal with the questions and queries of her young daughter. At its core 'Eros, Philia, Agape' is a love story dealing with the pain of growing apart. The only difference is that the 'male' member who has left is a robot in search of his identity.
Adriana is an upwardly mobile, successful woman living with her emerald macaw Fuoco, gifted by her father. The same father who sexually abused her in childhood - a fact that others in her family do not agree to. She hates her father but loves the bird as that is her only companion. Till one day she takes a drastic step and buys herself a robot with an elastic mind - a mind that can learn and change its personality based on what Adriana likes. With the entry of Lucian, Adriana finds love and companionship and secure enough to get a child of her own.
Lucian, Adriana and Rose are a regular family with a highly jealous bird as their pet. Fuoco cannot accept that Lucian is now closer to Adriana than he was and resorts to drastic acts of self mutilation till a stage is reached where he has to be put to rest. A chance statement by Adriana makes Lucain realise that he too is nothing but a toy for Adriana and hence starts his quest for self-identity. Little does he realise that Adirana really loves him but its too late. Lucian sets the wheels in motion and decides to leave.
The story takes you through the breathtaking emotions of betrayal, sadness and frustration that Adraiana feels as she loses touch with herself and realises the perils of life ahead without Lucian. Rachel also introduces you to Lucian's side of the story and his attempts at self realisation.
Set in about 90 pages the story takes you through a labyrinth of emotions and you wish for a happy ending.
You can read it here at http://www.tor.com/stories/2009/03/eros-philia-agape
I rate it 3/5.
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