at the end of the 21st
century is ruled by the Technocrats and
robots take care of every human
need. But at the Bell household,
they are having a problem with their
butler robot Grumps. He's getting
old and his timer is broken.
It can't be fixed so Grumps makes lots of
mistakes like serving dinner
at breakfast time. The Bells love
Grumps even though he is just a
robot and don't want to throw him out in
favor of a new model. But
then they find EGR3. He's been
programmed by a friend of Mr. Bell's
to be just about human. EGR3 won't
replace Grumps. The Bells
plan on keeping both the robots.
Will this work out? Is there
a problem with EGR3's programming?
Why doesn't he act like the other
a world run by robots.
Imagine one where robots do all the labor
for your family, including the
cooking, the housecleaning, and taking
care of the children. You walk to
school, and the Robot comes with you to
make sure you cross the street
safely. Other, more sophisticated
robots, joke with you and even
attend class and help you solve
mathematical problems. In this
robots are pretty common as a Gobetween,
nicknamed the Gobey, which lets
you discuss problems face-to-face with
Socrates from 420 B.C. Greece.
There are hoverbuses, talking houses and
tea kettles, and pods that wiz
by on the street. In this world there is
no such thing as petrol; that
is, gas for your car, because there is so
is a different kind of
robot. It's almost as if he can think and
feel. Not quite what the family
expected, nor what the children, Fleur and
Gavin, wanted in particular.
The new BCD4 robots are quite something,
very sophisticated, but the Bell's
cannot afford one. So, the Bell's get
Eager as an assistant for Grumps,
their long-time family robot with a broken
timer, who couldn't remember
whether it was morning or evening, and
what food to serve when.
although Fleur and Gavin
wanted a BCD4, they noticed something
peculiar about the robot at the Learning
Center. Fleur's best friend Marcia owned
one—it was called Boadicea. But
there was something odd if not scary about
her. Gavin thought he saw Boadicea
almost take a swing at Marcia, but he
couldn't be quite sure after it happened.
What is something worth investigating?
Gavin and Fleur as they
uncover their suspicions about the new
BCD4s launched in their city. What
is the mission of the BCD4s? Who is
responsible for creating them?
And, are they truly scary as Gavin and
Fleur somehow believe? (L.M.)