“Evil Robot Monkey,” by Mary Robinette Kowal (2009) E

Date read: 1.4.10
Read from: Mary Robinette Kowal’s website
Reviewer: Emera

Evil Robot Monkey,” which was nominated for last year’s Hugos, got an “mmm… eh” from me. It’s a vignette framing the emotional experience of an intelligence-augmented chimpanzee who just wants to be left alone to make pottery. Though his warring destructive and creative impulses are viscerally conveyed, the story as a whole relies too much on clich├ęs to do its thematic work – calling something a “hellish limbo” doesn’t do much towards convincing the reader that it actually is. As a character sketch, it’s okay; as speculative fiction, it’s predictable and lacks nuance.

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Mary Robinette Kowal

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