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Around 2014 I read a short story collection; in the collection there was a story about a futuristic world where people had nanny bots to look after and entertain their children. In the story a nanny bot breaks down and I remember something about a box with the new nanny in showing up and them assembling it.

I do not know very much more of this story, other then the plot-twist:

as it turns out their kid is also a robot they bought.

As it is a memory of long ago the details of the story I provided can be faulty but I am sure of the twist.

What story is this? Would love to find and read the collection again


It is not Nanny (1955) by Philip K. Dick, as answered below. It is not Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss,as answered below.

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  • 1
    You read it around 8 years and a few months ago (in 2013-2014)?
    – Clockwork
    Commented Mar 31, 2022 at 13:00
  • 2
    Please include the details of the plot twist; you can hide spoilers by starting the line with >!.
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 31, 2022 at 13:33
  • I've read it only one time 8y ago and it just now popped in my head after seeying a movie related to androids
    – Dylan
    Commented Apr 18, 2022 at 8:17
  • A similar plot twist is used in W. F. Nolans "And Miles to Go Before I Sleep" (1958) - a astronaut dying on a deep space mission sends a robot double to his parents as a deceit to comfort them, and the parents have had robot doubles of themselves created before their death. Just if you are generally interested in that trope :-) Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 20:55
  • Since its not mentioned yet, this doesn't seem to be Robbie, a short story about a robot nanny by Asimov. (It doesn't have the plot twist mentioned)
    – starwed
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 21:49

2 Answers 2

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Perhaps you are thinking of "Nanny" (1955) by Philip K. Dick?

(It is the answer to some other robot nanny replacement questions on this site.)

"Nanny" is a science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in 1955 in Startling Stories and later in The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick . It has since been republished several times, including in Beyond Lies the Wub in 1988. (source)

You can read the full story here.

Points in common with your description:

  • Found in bundle of short stories

  • Pre-2013

  • Broken nanny robot who needs to be replaced (because after being repeatedly damaged when fighting other nanny robots, it was eventually killed in one such fight)

Points not in common with your description:

  • None of the kids are robots; instead, the new nanny ends up

killing another nanny robot.

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  • Thanks for your responds ! However I've gone through it and it is not the story I am searching for.
    – Dylan
    Commented Apr 18, 2022 at 8:16
  • amazing idea for a story, good old PKD! also I am surprised as a Dickhead that i never saw this story -- i am sure I would remember.
    – releseabe
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 23:36
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+25

This sounds like it could be Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss.

It features a child with a robot companion Teddy, and has the same plot twist:

At the end, it's revealed that the child is a robot.

Related to the plot twist:

"The short story was later used as the basis for the first act of the feature film A.I. Artificial Intelligence directed by Steven Spielberg in 2001."

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    Thank you for responding, I have read the story but I don't think it is the one I am looking for.
    – Dylan
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 22:15

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