Friday, August 28, 2009

Would You? Could You?

I saw a fellow author's blog post the other night that pretty much said Zombies (and I assume all of the living undead) wouldn't be romance hero material. So that got me to thinking...I know it's scary isn't it?

What do you think about androids? Creepy? Too staid? I think the most well known of "his" kind would be Data from Star Trek Generations played by Brent Spiner. I'll have to admit the light green tint of Data's skin made him a little offsetting to me, but in some instances I could see why women were intrigued. Who wouldn't want a man that could download the Kama Sutra in seconds and put that info to good experimentation? On the other hand, could a woman be satisfied without her partner feeling love for her?


I've known about androids and the taboo idea of having them for an "intimate" partner since I was in high school back in the 90's. I had no idea that graphic novel I picked up was so explicit, but those pictures were lovely. The story had a pretty staid plot where the heroine was working at the plant, and saw an android she liked who seemed to have a different spark about him. They ran away together and basked in their love (while living of their folksy talents), but ultimately their relationship was doomed. A total BBM for any android/human relationship would be that he'd be deactivated and lose that little something extra or be torn apart, literally.


Then in my twenties came Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams. It went a step farther in showing how an android with AI could in fact learn to love...at least as well as a scientific creation made of mechanical parts can. Though the movie was slow, in the end it was worth taking the journey and I think made people really think about man, machine and perhaps the mixing of the two.


More recently, came Lars and the Real Girl. Now Bianca was a "real" sex doll, instead of an android, however for Lars she still served a purpose...someone to love him unconditionally. The movie is poignant, funny, and at many times kooky. However, after the initial shock the concept becomes plausible and the magic of the movie is that viewers begin to agree with Lars and see the doll as a real woman! It made me wonder what end would people go to to find love in a world like ours today?


In answer, I muse on Surrogates starring Bruce Willis (matured since Fifth Element). In this new cinematographic world people have retreated into safe havens and allow their "android" self to live in the outside world. Though they are at the helm, and everything the "android" feels and does is also sensed by the individual. Imagine the horror when things go haywire and people start to die when their androids are killed! However in the mean time, those who aren't targeted get together and hook up in the carnal sense with their "fake" selves. I can't say I'd like that, even if I could feel every touch...since there would always be a spacial barrier between me and my partner.

Than again, I can't see myself with a typical free thinking (due to complex programming) android either. That's not to say it wouldn't be a nice fantasy to try out like any other dominatrix type of role as me boss, you plaything. I can definitely see where this type of romance/relationship could come in handy for sci-fi novels with romantic elements. In fact, I think Johanna Lindsey may have blazed that trail somewhat in her Warrior series...though she never brought physical love to fruition between the heroine and her humanoid companion. I'll bet this was due in part to the publishing house and editor saying she couldn't push that envelope!



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2 comments:

Lita said...

Are you familiar with Tanith Lee's "Silver Metal Lover," which may be a bit before your time. I read it in high school (early 1980s), but been back in print for a few years.

From the Amazon synopsis:

"Robots have replaced human labor on earth, causing massive unemployment in a world devastated by pollution and natural disasters. Then Electronic Metals releases a new line: performing artists and sexual companions designed to entertain human partners. Jane, a rich, lonely, and insecure 16-year-old, meets one, the minstrel Silver, and falls passionately in love, despite revulsion at the idea of preferring a mechanical man to a human. She gives up everything she has known for him, and discovers herself. Silver becomes more and more "human" in loving her--a clever illusion created by his programming. Or is it? This unstable society can't afford any evidence that some robots might be indistinguishable from humans. Tragedy is inevitable. "

Skylar Masey said...

Lita~

Silver Metal Lover is the graphic novel I read back in high school!!

This is the version I got my hot little hands on :0)

http://www.daughterofthenight.com/tla29d.html