Reviews: Analog Science Fiction & Fact

Welcome to the Arboretum, Little Robot (Analog Shorts)

Welcome to the Arboretum, Little Robot has everything I’m looking for in a science fiction short story, namely, a tiny robot who likes to dance and is fascinated by the world. The story is a tiny burst of joy — a definite mood booster.

WELCOME TO THE ARBORETUM, LITTLE ROBOT

Mary E. Lowd
Analog Science Fiction & Fact, July/August 2018

Spoiler

STORY

Welcome to the Arboretum, Little Robot is flash fiction, so the story is more implied than written. The focus is on a small robot’s interactions with the world of a station, acting similar to a child. It’s the sight of the natural world that enthralls him and he stares animatedly at everything, taking it all in. I personally love this little jaunt of a story. It has heart mixed with interesting technology and a glimpse of a robust space station I’d love to know more about.


CHARACTERS

The focus is on GY-30, a little robot who likes to dance and to explore when waiting for his employer. It’s hard not to imagine a cuter version of WALL-E, spinning around in his own little world, marveling at the people and things around him. I love his sense of wonder. I’m impressed at the author’s ability to form such an emotional connection with a character in only 553 words.


SETTING

Welcome to the Arboretum, Little Robot takes place on a station — I assume it’s in space but I’m not totally sure. The robot believes it to be dingy and rundown, but the site of the arboretum excites him. There’s enough of a setting to make this robot’s presence exceptional.


CONCEPTS

Robots, Space Station, Future, Alien Species

Interested in more short stories like Welcome to the Arboretum, Little Robot? Check out our short story reviews here.

Photo by Mario Garcia on Unsplash

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