Abbie knows something is different about her when she awakes in a hospital facing a stranger calling himself her husband and informing her that they have an autistic child. The more she learns about their life, the more disturbed she is by that stranger, her husband. She is determined to discover how she ended up in the hospital, who she is exactly, and how to protect their son. Delaney blends technology into the story so well that at one point it’s challenging to determine who is who and who has done what to whom. The moral of the story seems to be beware human megalomania rather than the technology they produce. I was fortunate to receive this well-written, accessible sci-fi story from the publisher Ballantine Books through NetGalley.
In the not too distant future, at a Japanese high school, teenage android Shinobu purchases the trending drug Spacix. It’s news to the principal that androids can take drugs, downloading a program that simulates the drugs’s effects, including the side effects, which can be devastating for Shinobu and other adolescent androids, as the real life drug has been for human teens.
Barr creates a credible world of humans and androids co-existing, with all the messiness of human emotions and scientists with god complexes. Third in the Nihon cyberpunk series, this tale continues with the concept of programming robots with emotions, going a step further in the creation of realistic humanoids with upgrades to mimic growth to fulfill the dream of parenthood for infertile couples. Characters are complex and situations challenging as a teen does the stupid things that teens do, only in a—brilliantly created—world with constantly shifting lines determining what is digital and what is human.
Keep an eye out on laelbraday.com for a review of the next story in the Nihon cyberpunk series.