... defies easy categorisation ... Campbell is empathetic towards both women and their arguments. At times their conversation evokes Socratic dialogue, but neither side is destined to trample triumphantly over the other ... The essays cover all the big debates in this area and are written with lay readers in mind. While anyone with an existing interest in robotics and AI will be familiar with many of these concepts already, they would serve as a great introduction for readers new to this area. Given that Scarlett and Gurl is on the shorter side, however, 12 essays may be a few too many; the overlap between them is noticeable ... Is The Love Makers a novel or is it an essay collection? Yes. Its very refusal to slot into one category or the other reflects the challenge robots present to the old person-object binary opposition. The book is worth buying alone for Scarlett and Gurl, which manages to explore human-machine relationships with empathy, fully fleshed-out characters and genuinely original ideas. The essay collection is secondary, but well worth reading, especially for those unfamiliar with the debate around human-machine relationships.
... a suspenseful, plausible near-future road trip that is published alongside 14 essays by experts in fields ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to law and ethics ... This book, created with the aim of raising awareness of potential social impacts of developing trends in technology, provides much to think about. It deserves attention.
These cross-disciplinary essays are thought-provoking considerations of human-machine interaction: its potentials, its limitations, and its pitfalls. Some commentaries are provocative...while others...are fascinating in its tenderness ... This narrative structure of exegesis and interpretation extends to the essays as well, since all of them are commentaries on varied themes and problematics within the novel ... The shape of The Love Makers is inventive, with thought and reflection contained within the speech of characters and commentators in the style of classical philosophical exchanges made anew ... However, this exchange also has its limits ... Campbell, longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize, mentions that 'love' and 'work' are foundational to the novel. The omission of labour (and capital) is glaring since it obscures both these tenets ... Scarlett and the Gurl depicts the relationship between 'work' and 'love' to some degree, but it refuses the relationship between labour and sex (it is telling that none of the contributors practice or mention sex work) ... I appreciated its concerns, ambiguities, and the fissures in the relationship between the two women, especially the well-plotted end. But, it offered feminism too little: I felt stranded within a manicured cultural change, a paradigm shift had simply arrived without a revolution.