The Last Human by Lee Bacon is a sci-fi adventure novel about an unlikely friendship between man and machine. In a not-so-distant future, the human race has been eliminated and robots reign supreme. Everything is orderly. Everything is adequate. Without humans, there is no war, pollution or suffering. XR, a twelve-year-old robot living in this humanless utopia, has never questioned anything about the world. That is, until he discovers Emma – a human girl who subverts all his previous assumptions about the human race.
While far from the most original story ever conceived, The Last Human remains an enjoyable, cautionary tale about allowing your prejudices to control you. The ubiquitous presence of technology in today’s age is hardly fresh ground, nor is the idea of mankind being mankind’s own worst enemy, but Bacon treads it well. Portraying humanity through the lens of a robot will never not be interesting, and XR’s curious, binary narration of the world around him makes him a delightful protagonist. With shades of Wall-E and Wild Robot coursing through it, The Last Human is sure to charm those who have empathy to all things, even robots.