Second Ending (1962) by James White

secondending1I’ve a weakness for friendly robot stories, perhaps in the way that some people have a weakness for boy-and-his-dog stories. They usually lack substance, but there is something comforting about these facsimile friendships that usually result in personal growth for the protagonist. As much as we hate to admit it, dogs and robots are dumb beyond their roles, unable to demonstrate intellectual creativity or self-motivated improvement, yet human owners project human qualities onto both beasts, for whatever reasons. Both robot and dog represent unwavering devotion and love, unlike those annoying human relationships where support and interest waxes and wanes unpredictably. Dogs and robots can be taken for granted and they never resent it. Their constancy is comforting and safe. (Until rabies or the singularity happens, in which case you’re screwed). Continue reading