Asimov short (I think) - What story is told via letters from the family to the robot manufacturer, where a couple hired a look-a-like robot when the couple (or the husband) goes away?

  • there are a couple of epistolary stories by Asimov listed here, neither of them seems to be what you're looking for though ...
    – Ben Bolker
    Commented Jun 24 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Not an epistolary form, alas, but it still resembles Asimov's "Satisfaction Guaranteed".

The TN-3 model nicknamed "Tony" takes good (and apparently intimately good) care of the wife while husband is away.

She changes so vibrantly that husband is threatened by it. Susan Calvin's pointed remarks bring him down a few notches.

He --the "Tony" model -- was compelled by the Three Laws to protect her and not to harm her, and Susan Calvin's keen insight makes it clear:

"You really don’t understand? That machine had to obey the First Law. He couldn’t allow harm to come to a human being, and harm was coming to Claire Belmont through her own sense of inadequacy. So he made love to her, since what woman would fail to appreciate the compliment of being able to stir passion in a machine — in a cold, soul-less machine."

  • but "look-alike" also doesn't seem to fit here (I interpret this as meaning a robot that looks like the absent husband ...)
    – Ben Bolker
    Commented Jun 25 at 0:24
  • Maybe Bradbury's "Marionettes, Inc", as in this answer?
    – x86tux
    Commented Jun 25 at 14:01
  • "Tony" doesn't seem to be a look-alike, but a very human-looking android; "Marionettes" is a look-alike in every way technology allows. Neither one is epistolary. The search continues. Commented Jun 25 at 18:44

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