Reviews: Clarkesworld Magazine Sci-Fi Short Stories Short Fiction Reviews

‘Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird’ Short Review

Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird is a delightful story, detailing the reboot of a long dead race on a distant planet. We follow a robot who spends millions of years preparing the perfect world for a new race of monkeys. The scope of the story covers hundreds of millions of years, giving a startling insight into the sheer godliness of this robot. It’s essentially immortal and never dallies in its duties. When it has finally completed its function, it powers down for thousands of years until civilization has advanced enough to give it freedom.

I was amazed at how personable this very basic robot is. The author does an expert job with the material, creating a deep connection between reader and robot as we see it toil away, trying to find the perfect companion. You start to feel the frustration, imagining a waiting period of millions of years. The worldbuilding continues to ramp up, showing society advancing until they fully resemble the species who sent the robot. They develop rituals around the robot, worshipping it like a god. It’s fascinating to imagine a society with an origin story revolving around a robot. It would certainly change how we perceive the world.

Overall, Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird is an exceptional story. You’ll gain a deep connection to the main character and get excited as this lifelong dream finally comes true.

Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird

Written by Eric Schwitzgebel
Clarkesworld Magazine
April 2019

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