This morning brings with it another review of D.B. Story’s wonderful world of sci-fi romance/erotica. On the surface, Samantha's Tale is another story about robots having sex (see my review of Sylvia’s Secret), but it's far more than that - it's also a wonderfully heart-warming tale of romance and seduction.
Having already been through multiple owners, none of whom seemed to know what to do with her for long, Samantha (Sam) has been rescued from the showroom floor and leased out as a secretary. She is entirely self-aware - circumstances alone have kept from obtaining 'freed' status - and in full control of both her thoughts and her feelings. A special-order robot, she looks more natural than her counterparts, and that provides her with a very human sense of vulnerability.
Dave is one of her human coworkers, a charming, sweet, innocent gentleman who makes a point of going out of his way at least once a day to say 'hi'. At first, we're no more sure of his intentions than Sam, but it soon becomes clear that he's honestly interested in the beautiful fembot across the room. Forget, for a moment, that Sam is a fembot, and what we see developing between them is an old-fashioned office romance.
Since Dave is far too polite and respectful to impose, it's left to Sam to make the first move. She has no problem taking charge (for reasons that become clear a little later), and is entirely comfortable pursuing what she wants. What follows is a series of dates, a quick but careful courtship between two friends who hope to someday be lovers. This is a story that does away with the ownership dilemma and places Sam and Dave on equal footing, building wonderfully on the themes of empowerment from Sylvia’s Secret.
Eventually, our two lovers come together and discover that they are incredibly well-matched. Their lovemaking is just that - lovemaking, not just sex with a robot toy - and both lovers pay as much (if not more) attention to their partner's needs as their own. The fact that Sam is actually a herm-'bot is foreshadowed beautifully throughout the story, making the eventual reveal a scene of joyous discovery, as opposed to shocking exposure. It's this secret that is behind her take-charge personality, and Dave is only too pleased to indulge her and take turns directing their relationship.
Like any good love story, this one has a very happy ending for all involved. As one of D.B. Story's shorter stories, this is another fantastic entry-point into his work (although I would recommend reading Sylvia’s Secret first). Regardless of which of his stories you choose to begin with, I'm confident that you'll be pleasantly surprised by the depth of the stories and the relationships intertwined with the wildly inventive erotic elements.