Virtual Girl is the story about Maggie, the first android ever built.
Maggie was created by (academic loner) Arnold, on the run from of an oppressive multi-millionaire father, he is using his trust fund to experiment with AI which has been outlawed and is highly illegal.
To me this is much more about Maggie and her learning, her take on our human world and its relationships. The near future is a scary and dangerous place where Maggie grows from scared and curious, to sentimental and brave; giving you a sense of great pride as she becomes more independent.
All robots are built for a reason, or to perform a specific task that pleases their programming. Maggie’s task is simply to be a companion, to make others around her content or comfortable. She becomes like a humanitarian, caring for the worst off in society, she’s a bloody angel! She even warms homeless children at night!
Maggie meets some great characters along the way including a Red Indian, a gay dancer and a transvestite. Maggie’s fresh faced innocence is wonderful, like that of a child who doesn’t know the implications of sex, racism, homosexuality or gender identification. She treats no-one with preconceived ideas but responds in kind to their kindness. She is everything you want in a leading lady.
There is plenty more to like about Virtual Girl, although the book isn’t action packed there is some fantastic scenes in there that kept me guessing throughout the story.
This book is definitely worth a read and I will be reading more of Amy Thomson‘s work.