GR3T3L-1 Synopsis: When they are stranded on the surface of a hostile alien world, two sentient robots H4NS3L-671, the military-minded combat drone, & GR3T3L-1, the advanced surveyor prototype, find themselves with neither memory nor mission.
With no resources and no one to count on but each other, the robots must learn to work together in order to endure the brutal landscape, unlock the mystery of their missing memories, and plan their own rescue, all before their power runs out.
What they don’t know is that the dangerous planet holds a terrible secret that could ruin their chances of ever escaping alive…
This is “Hansel & Gretel” told like never before. This is “GR3T3L-1.” – Goodreads
Simply by putting the words “Humanoid” “golden/bronze” and “robot” in my head, I immediately saw GR3T3L as C3P0. I know that’s not accurate, but its exactly what happened. Therefore H4NS3L was the little whirry-one by default, which obviously caused me to have some mental issues because H4NS3L is like…8 feet tall. This worked against the author. It was over halfway through the story before I began to be able to put aside these associations, which definitely affected how I viewed the story.
The author did deliver some insightful quotes in this story. My favorite (reprinted with permission from the author) was “H4NS3L, has it occurred to you that if you view everything through a lens of aggression, then every phenomenon, even naturally occurring ones, require you to assign a responsible party to it? And when you make that determination, that conclusion automatically entitles you to take retaliatory actions. Those actions you take can then be the root cause of further violence. ” That one will make you stop and think for a minute.
There were a few cases where I felt that the portrayal of one of the robots was a bit too ‘human’. Most of the time, I was able to accept the advanced AI, and the author did a fair job of relaying the processing of feelings, but in a short story all it takes is a few glitches to yank you out of groove.
Overall, I think V.M. Sawh did a nice job on the story , but there were some formatting errors and a couple jumbled sentences, so it felt a bit rushed to get to the presses. With some revisions to the work, I could easily push this to a 4 star.