Annie Bot

Mariner. Mar. 2024. 240p. ISBN 9780063312692. $28. SF
DEBUT Annie is an android, designed to meet her owner’s specifications and programmed to please him in every way. Doug wants a replacement for his ex-wife and encourages Annie to learn and develop her artificial intelligence to be a perfect girlfriend for him. He changes Annie’s settings to allow her to be autodidactic and to learn and develop human traits of curiosity, desire, and secrecy. Then a chance visit from a friend introduces new concepts to Doug and Annie’s seemingly idyllic relationship: jealousy, suspicion, and anxiety. As Annie learns and becomes more human, she begins to question her own existence. How does she feel about being owned? What is the true nature of love? Does she have a right to freedom? The next generation in a long line of retellings of Ovid’s Pygmalion myth, Greer’s novel presents an intricate, intimate look at the fundamentals of human relationships. Easily accessible for general readers and science fiction aficionados alike, the book reflects the transformation of Annie into a complex emotional being.
VERDICT Unflinching in its examination of humanity, Greer’s debut novel is a must-buy for libraries.
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