You might not have heard a whole lot about this series from me yet. Why? I think I was waiting to be sure the inspiration that drove me to write Posthumous was going to keep on ticking along. It did, so…yay! I’m super excited about The Dogcatcher, which is the next in the series. I really like this character and more importantly, I feel for him.
Incidentally, I’m opening ARCs for The Dogcatcher right now. Release is 28 December so that would be the date that a review needed to be posted on Amazon and/or Goodreads. It’s about the same length as Posthumous, so about 95 pages long if it were in a printed book and about 65 Amazon “estimated” pages. Let me know if you want one.
In case you don’t know….
PePr, Inc. was first published as a short story in The Robot Chronicles, the first of the now world-wide best-selling Chronicles series. I never intended PePr to be anything more than that…a stand alone short story. But then I started noticing stuff…like news articles on the unexpected reactions to the newest robotic advances, interesting conversations between artificial beings and humans, even some great music that incorporates some of the extremely odd conversation of a web-based “A.I.” that made me mourn for humanity.
I considered all the jobs they might be able to do and what humans would do to keep busy when that happened. Well, they could just sit around in their pajamas and take their robot’s paycheck (that’s SO gonna happen). Robots can do anything if they get mobility and socialization solved. So let’s draw this forward in time…let’s make them indistinguishable from human…what are they then?
And then, suddenly, I was just sitting around like humans do and I had a thought. I’ve been thinking how all these changes would be for us, how it might change us in negative as well as positive ways, and all the things that could (and therefore would) go wrong. What about them? What would all this be like for the robots? Humans have had incredibly negative impacts on more species than I can count (extinction being the most obvious, but continued suffering is right up there). There’s no reason to think we’ll change simply because the “species” we create is artificial and expensive.
The Perfect Partners, Incorporated series explores all of this. The good, the bad, the very bad. The crazy, the heart-wrenching, the unexpected. So far, I’ve written stories that explore robot “evolution” into feeling beings at various points in time after their commercial release.
PePr, Inc. is FREE on Amazon (and B&N, iTunes, Google Play, etc) and it remains a short story. I could have turned it into a novella, but I rather like the snappy tone of the short story format and I’ve left it there. All the rest of the books are novella length, with the shortest being about 50 pages and the longest about 99 pages. Still a big chunk of reading for just $0.99 each for sure.
This is on purpose. I don’t want to create a big novel where their individual contributions are diluted by being joined with others. The impact is far more acute, the involvement of the reader intensified, the experience more potent when done this way. My favorite reader response was an email about Posthumous that read: On a crying scale from 1 to 5, this is a nineteen.
Aside from all being set in the PePr universe, none of the stories is connected. Each novella is entirely complete on it’s own. A full tale told in the right number of words for it.
PePr, Inc. – Hazel has a great job that she’s really good at, wonderful friends who always support her, and a life that moves along smoothly. She also has Henry and that’s not working out so well. When Henry’s attention takes a disturbing turn, going to PePr, Inc. to void the contract might not be the easy solution Hazel imagined it would be. Is Henry a perfect Match or a perfect nightmare?
Posthumous – Love is eternal in a silicon heart. Edna writes, but isn’t allowed to publish. She lives in a beautiful home that she isn’t allowed to own. She has a dog, yet she is property herself. The only thing that truly belongs to her is her love…and now that is lost to her as well. When a robot, an ancient beagle, a long-dead human, and a fictional character meet in space and time, the logic of bits and bytes are no match for the mysterious workings of the “human” heart. CAUTION: Not for lunch time reading. Tissues needed.
Imperfect – Sandra was built with everything; a perfect body, perfect face, and every upgrade that can be bought. Yet somehow she finds herself on the reject table next to a half-dissembled robot with an erratic personality. And now, on top of everything else, she’s just experienced her first emotion. Too bad for her it turned out to be fear. Will she be able to navigate the impersonal world of PePr, Inc. and save herself…and maybe all her kind in the process.
The Dogcatcher – Ace is a civil service PePr for Animal Control. Designed to be even more adept than humans at dealing with frightened, hurt, or abandoned animals, they may have built him more than originally intended. It’s not hard to see the human system is stacked against non-humans when you’re designed to understand their most beloved – and most often abused – companions. When Ace commits an act that will demand his termination, he finds that he has friends in the strangest places and discovers the humanity inside humans.
What’s next? I’m torn. Right now I’m working on Strikers: Eastlands, but these novellas are a welcome and useful break when I’m struggling with plotting a long and complicated book. My ideas for future volumes include the titles, War, Mercy, Eternal, Trial, Homeless, Underground, and Caretaker. I’ll leave you to ponder what those might be about (but I’m very literal in that regard). If you have one that you’d like to see done first, don’t hesitate to let me know. Do you want crazy, tearjerker, action-packed, or thoughtful?