Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fox, Helen. Eager

Fox, Helen. Eager. Random House, 2004 [0-385-74672-5]
This story takes place in a future world where most the people are provided for but the technocrats have all the good things, including the best robots. A new model robot, BDC4, comes out which is supposed to think and all the fancy places and technocrats get them. Meanwhile the Bell family (not technocrats) needs a new robot and by chance if friends with a famous robot scientist. He wants them to try out his new robot but there is one catch. This robot has not been programmed in the traditional way. Like a human he has to experience and learn things. The story starts out fun watching the new robot, Eager, trying to learn and understand things but soon Gavin Bell (the boy in the family) notices that there is something strange about the new BDC4 robots. Eager starts to realize this too. This is a story in the tradition of Asimov's robot stories. In these 280 pages the reader begins to explore what it means to be alive, to be free, and to have a soul. It is a great meaty and serious science fiction story for young adults.