“I talk to other beings very infrequently. / My contact with humans is usually from a distance.”
A Guide to Working Breeds by Vina Jie-Min Prasad originally found in Made to Order: Robots and Revolution edited by Jonathan Strahan
Reprint can be found here
The world has been a pretty intense place, well since always, but it turned the intensity up to 11 these past few years. Things got serious. And that also means stressful. In times like these, we need stories like “A Guide for Working Breeds” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad more than ever.
In this story, a grumpy and jaded curmudgeon of a robot is forced into mentoring a new hopeful. And a joyful little friendship begins to unfold. These two characters need each other. One needs a guide in how cruel the world can be and the other needs help finding the joy. In a word, it is cute… despite the assassinations.
A Guide to Working Breeds touches on serious topics with a light hand, and the outlook of both robots is very relatable. They bond over their shared frustrations and appreciations of the finer things in life, like corgis and pugs. This is the type of story where you sometimes have to read between the lines. It is presented as a series of messages, something that most people in the 21st century can probably follow with the same ease of reading a stranger’s text message conversation on the internet. This story is perfect for people that enjoy sweet, lighthearted characters, enemies to friends, breakfast foods, and cute dogs.