Published by Less Than Three Press Setting: Washington
on March 16th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction
Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular 'Raise' AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.
Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master's dream for the shop.
When Clara stops by Sal's shop for lunch, she doesn't expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving onâ€¦
This novella tells the story of a humanoid robot who is keeping her former owner’s beloved tea shop running almost 300 years after her death.Â Robots like her have since been outlawed.Â Robotics technician Clara is thrilled to meet Sal and offers to help fix up her ailing software.Â What does she want to have changed though?Â What makes her HER?Â
This book features a f/f romantic, asexual relationship.Â Â
This is a fun read that works if you just suspend disbelief and embrace the magical realism of the idea. Emma knows one spell. There really isn't an explanation for that. I also wondered how they have Batter Up night every week in this very small town and never run out of bachelors who want to commit. It is a fluffy, light romance with fade to black sex scenes and magical cupcake batter so if you are looking for an escapist quick read this one might be for you.