Nanny by Philip K. Dick
5/19/17. Read in Paycheck and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick. (first printing 1990)
In a version of the future, many families trust nanny robots to care for their children. The Fields family's nanny has been repaired a few times and keeps showing up with dings and dents from an unknown source.
In a version of the future, many families trust nanny robots to care for their children. The Fields family's nanny has been repaired a few times and keeps showing up with dings and dents from an unknown source. After spying on the robot at night, the patriarch of the family realizes that the nanny robot is fighting the neighbor's nanny -- a different model -- in the backyard. When the man takes the robot in to be fixed, the salesperson tries to convince him that fixing it isn't worth it. There are constantly new and better models being developed, and companies are building the need to establish dominance into all of the robots. If he doesn't want his nanny robot torn to shreds by a better one, he should just buy the best. He declines and, very quickly after the nanny robot is returned to the family, the children go to the park and the nanny is destroyed by a big, new nanny robot owned by another family. Mr. Fields is determined for this not to happen again so he goes to the store to buy *the* best robot; one who will be unbeatable in these fights, or at the very least will last a long time. The new nanny goes to the park again and takes down the one who fought the original Fields nanny.
Just when you think that will be the end of the story, the father from the family of the former victor now destroyed park bully robot decides that he will absolutely spare no expense in finding something newer and better that can handle the Fields nanny, indicating to readers that the cycle will never end.
Thoughts or Additional Info:
"When I look back," Mary Fields said, "I marvel that we ever could have grown up without a Nanny to take care of us."
Memorable Lines or Passages:
futuristic, consumerism, social commentary, robots, nanny
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