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Novella Review: Philia, Eros, Storge, Agápe, Pragma by R.S.A. Garcia

Published in the January 2021 issue of Clarkesworld Magazine, R.S.A. Garcia’s compelling sequel to her story, The Sun From Both Sides is set in a distant, post-transhumanist future where every human in Eva’s culture is paired with an artificial intelligence that functions as their sibling and protector, from birth.

Eva lives with her husband, Dee, in cloistered contentment in a sylvan environment, until the day her sibling AI suddenly goes on a murderous rampage. Now it’s up to Eva to figure out why.

The narrative shifts back and forth through time, giving us fleeting glimpses of the events and interactions that lead up to the moment Sister attacks and what happens afterward.

The reader gets a sort of tilted perspective of the evolution of Eva and Dee’s relationship, as well as the tensile strength of Eva’s familial bonds.

Though filled with its fair share of bloody violence and intrigue, Philia, Eros, Storge, Agápe, Pragma eschews the typical cyberpunk narrative that depicts AIs as uncannily human-like yet ultimately, soulless machines. Instead, we are gifted, on all fronts, with an unexpected and tender abundance of love.

Philia, Eros, Storge, Agápe is a completely deserving finalist for both the 2022 Ignyte Award for Best Novella and for the 2022 Theodore A. Sturgeon Memorial Award.

R.S.A. Garcia is a Trinidadian speculative fiction author. She is the author of Lex Talionis, her debut science fiction mystery novel that received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, the Silver Medal for Best Scifi/Fantasy/Horror Ebook from the Independent Publishers Awards (2015), and became an Amazon Bestseller. Her works have been published in multiple speculative fiction magazines and anthologies.

R.S.A Garcia’s Website

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