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310 pages, Paperback
Published August 11, 2016
Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT
Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.
One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?
As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.
With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?
What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?
"It's weird, isn't it? Me and her? It doesn't make sense, but you know what? It doesn't have to. I like her and she likes me. Labels don't matter with the right person, Rogan."
"If flattery embarrasses you," he said, reaching over and gently turning her head to face him, "then you deserve to be embarrassed every moment of your life."
She smiled softly, forgetting the chat group for a moment, even with two messages already flashing on the screen. "Rogan," she whispered. "Sometimes I really do forget you're not real."
"I am not human. I am not technically alive. I am real though. I am as real as anything in this world."
"What? What do you mean? I have many observational instruments, Chloe, but I am not a mind reader. You are going to have to tell me what you want."
"You couldn't possibly want to be with me forever...could you?"
"Now, you are the one who is kidding," Rogan said. "I want to be with you if there is a time past forever."