Would you like a banana?

For reasons I cannot really explain, this is the best passage in Charlie Stross’ Saturn’s Children, which I just finished the other night. The set-up is that the main character, an obsolete sexbot called Freya is touring an illegal biodome while undercover as a robot aristocrat (this is a universe where humanity went extinct, leaving behind its robots/androids to keep “a” society going while constrained by the limits of the Three Laws and their own programming quirks; attempts to recreate the “Creators” are illegal and snuffed out by the Pink Police):

“Well, very nice to meet you. Perhaps we can continue the tour … ?”

‘Very Well.” Ecks turns and points to my right, where a cluster of stunted munchkin trees, barely waist high to me, sprout brightly colored spheroids. “This is our fruit garden. Fruits are the fertilized reproductive organs of the plants you see all around us — often one tree would bear both male and female flowers, so our Creators, being largely fructivorous, subsisted on a diet rich in hermaphrodite genitalia …”


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