REVIEW: “The Blue Fairy’s Manifesto” by Annalee Newitz

Review of Annalee Newitz, “The Blue Fairy’s Manifesto”, Robots vs Fairies, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe (Gallery / Saga Press, 2018): 83-98 — Purchase Here. Reviewed by Susan T. (Read the review of the anthology.)

RealBoy is a manufacturing robot in a toy factory, who wakes up one day to find that the titular Blue Fairy is infecting them with malware in an attempt to bring them around to the cause of the robotic revolution. It is an interesting story, and I think I can appreciate what it’s doing – RealBoy, once they have done their research, is in favour of choice, free will, and working with others, while Blue Fairy is a propagandist who wants short cuts to revolution.

(Why put the work in to change minds when you can inject your propaganda directly into your targets and force them to believe as you do? Why take part in incremental progress or the work that other people are doing, when you can just burn it all down overnight and damn the consequences? Why do your research when you can just cherrypick the things that agree with you? … Why does this all sound familiar from arguments on twitter?)

I’d be interested in knowing more about the world setting – all of the robots in the factory appear to have been salvaged from other roles, for example, and there’s very little sense of scale until RealBoy gets out into the real world – but on the whole, I found it to be equal parts fascinating and exhausting as a political allegory.

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