By Lakenzie Walls and Howard Rambsy II
[Haley Reading groups Fall 2021]
Rion Amilcar Scott’s “The Electric Joy of Service,” from his collection of stories The World Doesn’t Require You (2019), focuses on the first-person perspective of a robot named Jim that describes its experiences. The robot’s inventor/Master plots to sell robots based on caricatures of enslaved Black people. The story includes a few different intriguing twists and turns. At one point, the inventor uploads a virus that will spur a rebellion among The Robotic Personal Helpers (or Riffs). But he determines a different fate for Jim. To ensure that the robot remains content, the Master inventor provides “a gift: a patch to block the disease of history” (46).
What did you find mot fascinating about Scott's story, and why?