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Eros, Philia, Agape

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3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  484 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Originally published on Tor.com, Rachel Swirsky's contemporary tale of love in all its forms—and of one robot's quest to know it, and himself, on his own terms—is a finalist for the 2010 Hugo Award and the 2010 Locus Award.

Rachel Swirsky's short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine, and Subterranean Magazine, among others, and has been collected in Year's
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ebook, 32 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Tor Books (first published June 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,030)
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Stephen
4.0 stars. Another beautiful and deeply emotional story by THE GODDESS OF SHORT FICTION, Rachel Swirsky. I have received multiple concussions falling head over heals for her previous stories, A Memory of Wind and The Monster's Million Faces. Now, with this one, she has hit the trifecta and again reduced my literary knees to jelly.

The story explores the nature of love, loss and pain through the lens of a lonely woman, Adriana, and her android companion, Lucian, who she acquired to live with and
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Richard Derus
EROS, PHILIA, AGAPE

Rating: 2* of five

Adriana's father messed with her, and so she's all messed up, and she's rich so she buys herself a sex-slave robot and has the manufacturers make him look like her father.

Yuck.

A MEMORY OF WIND

Rating: 2* of five

The story of Iphigenia, sacrificed by her father to Aphrodite, so the fleet carrying the Greeks could leave port. She has a very modern sensibility, does this Iphigenia, demanding the right to be happy and marry someone she loves.

This is codswallop.
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Nikki
Eros, Philia, Agape is lovely. It's available, like the other short stories by Rachel Swirsky that I've been reading, on Tor.com, here. It's a lovely story, which reminds me a little of Isaac Asimov's The Positronic Man -- except more emotional, more evocative, more tender and more sad. Despite how short it is, it creates a world and characters I fully believe in, and the writing is lovely. My heart was in my throat while reading parts of it, just for the aching tenderness in it.

I think perhaps
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R.C.
Sep 05, 2010 R.C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Molly
Nice, emotional short explores love and humanity.
Rating 3.5
Truth be told, near the end I just wanted to punch someone (him or her). It wasn't my first read about the possibility of love between a human and a cyborg, but maybe I was more comfortable with the rendition in "The Mad Scientist's Daughter" by Cassandra Rose Clarke. Still Swirsky doesn't disappoint, and sure as hell doesn't leave you indifferent.

Link here:http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=c...
David
A short story about a woman who falls in love with a robot, who in being given his freedom, realizes that his capacity for love is an artificial, human thing. It explores the different kinds of love, and the line between love and possession, and it has many layers to examine, though the damaged Adriana and the selfish (however justified) Lucian are hard to like.
Daria
Jun 09, 2011 Daria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's alright, I guess. I understand that Swirsky had attempted to put into question the human concept of possession, and how that concept plays out in terms of familial relations and love. Swirsky's language is lovely in parts. Problem is that, although Lucian is interesting, protagonist Adriana is utterly unlikeable. Also, the idea of assembling a robot for a lover kinda creeps me out, and I can't get over the fact that robots aren't supposed to be relateable to humans in any way (i.e., love th ...more
August
Jun 01, 2016 August rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Wiswell
Flashbacks are dangerous things. It's so easy to derail a parallel narrative, to give so much away that the main time period loses intrigue, or to give too little away and feel like time is wasted. For a couple days I've struggled with Eros, Philia, Agape, which opens on a flashforward of a divorce. Lucian, the husband, struggles to define himself and takes all his things, leaving a pet and daughter behind. It's in the ensuing scenes that we realize he's a robot built by his wife, Adriana, order ...more
Chichipio
Mar 04, 2011 Chichipio rated it really liked it
Free short story found at Tor.com. Very well-written—in my totally unqualified opinion.

It's a bit sad and makes you think about love and its complications from a rather unusual perspective. It's great for those days when you're feeling a little introspective.
Margaryta
For a short story this was incredibly powerful and written with such a beautiful and moving style.

I thought all of it was wonderful. The title captures the idea of the story and the cover aids in imagining what kind of character Lucian is. I think the intent was not, perhaps, to necessarily connect or empathize with the characters - each had their downside, such as Rose being whinny and Adriana being out-of-touch with reality, yet that was the point of it. Each character in this story, whether h
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Kinsey_m
Oct 06, 2015 Kinsey_m rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tor-com

The story contains a very interesting concept of the plasticity of the brain and assembling a personality out of fragments. However, this is not enough if you don't follow the 3 sacred rules of writing:

1) Show, don't tell. If you can't show your very complex concept, it's better to save it until you become a more skilled writer. At this point we'd be looking at a 2 star rating buuuuuuuuuuuut:

2)If you are not trying to make your protagonist unlikeable and the reader would like nothing better than
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Raina
Jan 02, 2016 Raina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feels
that was heavy
Princessjay
May 08, 2014 Princessjay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler) ...more
Dione Basseri
A new take on love, knowledge of self, abandonment, and companion robots. A lonely woman purchases a companion robot, and delights as he comes into a sense of self. She comes to see his sentience, and becomes a champion of robot rights, ensuring they all have the freedom to choose their lives. Which is why it hurts to much when he chooses to leave her and their adoptive daughter.

An exploration of three kinds of love: romantic, familial, and a complete, selfless love. A full knowledge. Which must
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Cora
Eros, Philia, Agape by Rachel Swirsky is a short story (about 32 pages according to my kindle edition) that can be read for free at http://www.tor.com/2009/03/03/eros-ph... . It is the story of a young woman who is looking to change her life after her abusive father dies. She decides to purchase a robot for companionship. Eventually she falls in love with the robot and they marry and have a daughter. However, eventually the robot begins to question their love and if he could truly love his famil ...more
Tom Hansen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joe
Sep 18, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable story by Rachel Swirsky, very deserving of its Hugo Award nomination. The issue she's looking at is, how do robots feel, assuming they do feel, about being incorporated as tools into human society? To use a phrase from her story, “You know what robots do? They change themselves to be whatever humans ask them to be.”
Further, are people able to accept these robots, these psuedo-humans, into their world, and ascribe them diminished rights, despite the robotic facsimile of human appeara
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Sue CCCP
I reviewed this short story as part of the anthology Robots: The Recent A.I. Full review of that volume at http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.b...

Adriana is lonely, but wealthy, so she pays to have the perfect man created for her in the form of the beautiful android, Lucian. As they make a life together she falls in love with him and eventually grants him free will. However, as they raise their adopted daughter, Rose, it becomes clear that he is more emotionally involved with the child than wit
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Steve
May 18, 2011 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Eros, Philia, Agape is a refreshing twist on the human/robot romance genre, mostly because of the nature of the relationship presented. Adriana seeks a "male" robot companion, they live as a married couple, and they adopt and raise a daughter, Rose.

It's frightening to me to think about a human child growing up in such circumstances and apparently not understanding the fact that she is completely human even though her father is a robot. We only catch a glimpse of Rose's childhood, but it seems to
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Kati
Where to begin... There wasn't one character I could relate to or empathize with. Not Adriana, not Lucian and definitely, absolutely not the spoiled brat of their kid, Rose. Adriana needed a good shrink. Lucian was... uh, did the author actually want me to sympathize with him? If so, she failed utterly. And Rose, what a brat - but with those two as parents, no wonder. And the ending! I guess the author wanted us to believe in the possibility of a happy ending, what with the "maybe he returned to ...more
Katriena Knights
I'm not sure what I thought about this story, to be honest. It's very well-written, and explores powerful concepts--different types of love, differences between love and feelings of possession, etc. But it's so painful to read, and the characters seem so focused on themselves rather than the people they're affecting, that it was hard to sympathize with the choices they made. Further, the relationships built among the characters don't justify these choices and make it hard to believe they would t ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Love/Hate?: Love times infinity
Rating: 5/5
Did you finish?: Finished, reread, finished again!

One-sentence summary: Poignant break up of a marriage. (Ha, that's my sneaky summary.)

Why did you get this book?: Free sample from the Sony eReader store

Do you like the cover?: N/A

First line from book: Lucian packed his possessions before he left.

Review: Oh.My.God. I didn't know what to expect from this short piece of fiction but wow -- what I got just blew me away. In just a brief number of pages (31 on
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Alex Rogers
Oh good story - but I was very disappointed to find out it was a short story! Serves me right for not checking the book length when I bought it (at a bargain price, I'll admit) - but I'd settled in for a read, and it was over before it really got going! (No, I said read, not root). Ah well - a very good short story
Debra Slonek
Mar 24, 2014 Debra Slonek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Futuristic, short, sad story. Houses repair and clean themselves. Cars are programmed, not driven. People and animals can be designed and built according to specifications. Relationships between Adriana, her husband/robot, her adopted daughter and her hybrid pet bird are all examined and explained. A thoughtful story of love and loss.
Meagan Houle
Jan 19, 2015 Meagan Houle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enchantingly written. Reminds me of a more literary version of "The Silver Metal Lover". I had no idea what to expect from this little gem and I'm happy to say I was more than pleased. It's impossible to sum up, though; I suggest you just read it!
yangsta
Nov 01, 2014 yangsta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
giving a robot conscious control of his brain plasticity turns him into a child. of course he will leave to find himself. ignorant heiress with too much money and too much time. should have just left the damn robot's mind alone...
Mike
Sep 26, 2011 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not fantastic, sometimes the characters are just hateful and why bother sympathizing with them even if you can intellectually "get" why they're that way. However, it has one of the most interesting ways of describing a robot's thought process that I've read (forgive me if it's not actually original and I'm ignorant of that, but it seems unique), very creative and though it's poetic, it also makes sense. The author has a lesser grasp on what she seems to want to say about love and possession (and ...more
Vanessa
Nov 01, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really have words to describe this story. It's sad and beautiful. The end is not really confirmed, it's open and leaves the reader to decide how it could have ended.
Rachael Stein
Parts of this novelette feel clumsily written (especially the tell-don't-show back story), but as a meditation on our varied concepts of love and possession, it is quite poignant. There's something deeply and genuinely tragic about a robot who becomes "human" enough to experience love, who then loves deeply enough that he wants to express that love in its most genuine form, and who, in the end, must erase the trappings of his own humanity in order to do so.

I'm not sure they were expressed as el
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Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and is a graduate of Clarion West. Her work has been short-listed for the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Sturgeon Award, and placed second in 2010's Million Writers Award. In addition to numerous publications in magazines and anthologies, Swirsky is the author of three short stories published as e-books, "Eros, Philia, Agape," "The Memory of Wi ...more
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“He glared at Lucian in the manner of birds, first peering through one eye and then turning his head to peer through the other, apparently finding both views equally loathsome.” 2 likes
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