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The Cybernetic Tea Shop

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  321 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
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 auton
ebook, 65 pages
Published March 16th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
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Meredith Katz Yes, actually! If you buy through the publisher, there are a variety of ebook formats available, including pdf.

Yes, actually! If you buy through the publisher, there are a variety of ebook formats available, including pdf.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope you enjoy!(less)

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Five stars.

I originally saw this on Scribd but didn't get to it fast enough before they pulled it from their catalogue. I ended up buying it instead and it was worth every penny.

"The Cybernetic Tea Shop" is about as solid and perfect as a short story gets.

It's told from the perspective of two leads, a human and a robot. What Katz managed to inject into the experience of the robot, in particular, was pure excellence and I really felt for her character. Both the descriptions and characters were
Paige (Enchantology)
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-lit
My full review is up on Queer SFF but can we talk about how nice it was to follow an asexual character who falls in love with another woman? That's so me I could D I E.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novella about an AI robot and a human programmer can be read as a sweet romance between two asexual individuals, as it was no doubt intended. But it is also so much more.

On a more profound level, it's a story of an artificial being's journey to humanity. It does so with an unusual but amazingly well-done robot 'voice' that's endearingly honest yet utterly believable. Even this jaded human can't help but fall in love with her, and even shed a tear or two for her lonely existence and her 'pa

Wow. I loved this story. I'm going to steal a few adjectives from other reviewers. Because they said it first and sums up most of the feels I have for this story.
Lovely, Lovely Story -@Michelle
Sweet and gentle story - @Joc
Grabbed my heart - @Corrie
thoughtful and quiet, seeming to take up more space than the pages it occupied - @Danika

I'm always amazed when writers can write short stories (or in this case a short novella) that are concise but not spare. As the book summary states - there
Shira Glassman
Man, I would give this six stars if I could. The Cybernetic Tea Shop is a quick, emotional, uplifting f/f romance between an outmoded android and a robot repair tech, with an ending that reminds me of sunlight breaking through the end of a really wet rainstorm.

The robot is basically a robot widow, thinking of the woman who first acquired her to help with her tea shop with fond longing even hundreds of years after her death. It could all be read as a gigantic metaphor for the vulnerability of a n
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Just a lovely, lovely story. This is the second AI book I've read in less than a week and it's definitely the better of the two. Frankly, i'm amazed at how well this author developed the two MC's in such a short book, but damn did she.

AI Sal...I want to marry her. And you will too, trust me. But I have dibs.

Just read this book. It's so well written and lovely. I know what you are thinking, "You've already used that word dummy" but that is the word that just reverberates around my head every tim
Danika at The Lesbrary
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've got to say, with a title like "The Cybernetic Tea Shop," I expected this to be a fun, silly, quick read. Instead it was thoughtful and quiet, seeming to take up more space than the pages it occupied. This is set in a world where sentient, sapient robots were once mass produced, but given the ethical problems they raised, they're now illegal to make. Hundreds of years later, some of those original robots are still around, with questionable legal personhood and a lot of animosity aimed at the ...more
Wart Hill
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc2016, netgalley, lgbtq, ace
Things I Find While Shelving

I received a free ARC via NetGalley

This story is very…quiet, I think, is a good way to put it.

We start with Clara, a tech who travels a lot. Doesn’t like to stay in one place for too long. We see her working on AI companions, we learn about the development and eventual banning of more complex AIs and Clara’s interest in the subject.

Then we meet one of those more complex AIs, Sal. Sal has been living her previous owner’s dream for years now, trying to keep their small
Read it again. This time to make it into an audiobook for a friend so she can listen to it on her way to work :-)
It's seems really silly to have tears in my eyes for a robot but this was a really sweet and gentle story about Clara, a technician, falling in love with Sal, a robot with artificial intelligence.
It's beautifully written and I loved how engaged I was by the main characters and the bird. It was so evocative that I could see it as one of those award winning animated shorts.
The Cybernetic Tea Shop grabbed my heart. It’s such a compelling and sweet love story between a robot (Sal) and a robot repair tech (Clara).

Clara Gutierrez and her Raise companion ('Robotic Artificially Intelligent Synthetic Entity'), a hummingbird named Joanie never stay in one city for long. Clara likes to travel, explore new places, work there for a few months and then move on. When she arrives in Seattle she visits the Cybernetic Tea Shop where Sal has been working for the last 278 years.

Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a nice story! The main characters are a grieving ace robot with feelings, owner of a tea shop and a young ace woman with wanderlust working on cybernetic and whatnot. They meet and cuteness ensue!

would recommend for people who loved A Closed and Common Orbit!
Skye Kilaen
Robot romance FTW! Lovely, quiet novella about Clara Gutierrez, asexual lesbian technician, falling in love with Sal, the female robot proprietor of an old-timey tea shop. Sal is a rare remaining humanoid robot, since they were outlawed long before due to ethical concerns about their autonomy. Clara's never met one before even though she works on the more limited Robotic Artificially Intelligent Synthetic Entities a.k.a. Raises. When Sal's tea shop is attacked by anti-robot vandals, Clara helps ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
You need to know two (2) things about me:
1. I love romance between a human and an AI or robot
2. I love sapphic romance

So Meredith Katz delivers a perfect novella. The story set in some time in the future, with more advanced technology and sentient robots. The main characters are Clara, mechanic who’s always on a move, and Sal, robot who owns a tea shop in Seattle.
They meet and fall in love and don’t mind me swooning over there.

The main duo is very charming. Sal and Clara have good rapport and I
Polenth Blake
Clara moves from place to place, with only Joanie (her Raise hummingbird) for company. Sal is a robot who runs a tea shop in memory of her owner. Then Clara pops into Sal's place during her lunch break.

There's some interesting worldbuilding in the story. Humanoid robots were banned from production, due to worries about them being able to learn and become full people. Instead, people have Raises - robotic animal companions who are intelligent and have personalities, but can't learn and adapt the
The Cybernetic Tea Shop is a very quiet and sweet little novella which tells the love story of Clara, a highly-skilled technician, and Sal, a female robot, who has a tea shop in Seattle.

Clara has always been on the move, not staying long in one place, her wanderlust bringing her to new places nearly every year. Her latest move to Seattle and her love for tea lead her right into Sal’s tea shop that she’s been opening in remembrance of her former owner for nearly 300 years by now.

Read more on All
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Super sweet f/f novella about an asexual mechanic and a sentient robot. The Cybernetic Tea Shop is the kind of story I'm all for: kind, loving, and filled with patience and understanding. Add a soft scifi twist, which was well-articulated, and you've got a winner.

Though the writing of the novella was very good, I did feel like it wasn't justifiable that the main characters don't meet until 30% in. It is only about 65 pages in total, and I feel like the beginning could have been spent better with
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
The Cybernetic Tea Shop is a light, refreshing read that manages to be sweet without becoming saccharine.

Sal is one of the few remaining sentient AIs, as their creation was banned centuries before. Sal’s passed the years with a steady routine, running an old fashioned tea shop for what’s been almost three hundred years. The tea shop belonged to a woman she loved, and she keeps the shop going as a sort of shrine to her.

Clara is a technician who specializes in the programming of non-sentient AI co
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, ff
Beautiful novella about overcoming loss, grief, and finding a new purpose in life. There is something so pure and innocent about Sal that I really just wanted to give her a hug the whole time.
Adiba Jaigirdar
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very cute! And really, especially considering its short length.

I really liked and felt for all the characters, and I really loved the relationship between Sal and Clara. I liked how it was established from strangers to romantic partners, and the way it developed felt very natural.

My only complaint is that the ending felt a bit too tidy. I think a little bit more length could have made it more powerful. As it was, the ending just didn't feel as authentic as the rest of the book.

Adorably perfect.
I am in love with everything this story chooses to be.

The main characters are an autonomous robot, Sal, who has been running a teashop for almost 300 years; a mechanic, Clara, who can't stay in one place for more than a year and is also ace (!); and a robotic hummingbird companion, Joanie. You will love all of them.

I adored the characters, the setting, and even the resolution. It wasn't what I expected, and yet it was indeed a cathartic ending. The story also felt complete despite being short, s
If this is not the actual sweetest homoromantic robot romance ever then I literally do not know what is, I mean urhghkasdjd. It is so genuine and heart-warming and I’m actually aching so much right now over how utterly beautiful this sweet little novella was and I just can’t deal. I am an actual mess. Leave me here to sob in peace.

This near future sci-fi is a beautiful example of a deeply emotional and character driven story filled with heart and soul. It is a quiet, thoughtful and surprisingly
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a science fiction novella about Sal, a humanoid robot who runs a tea shop, and Clara, a programmer who never stays in one place for long. It takes place in a future Seattle that feels wonderfully lived-in, where the age of humanoid robots has come and passed, the remaining robots now a mere novelty from another age. There's a sweet romance between the two as well, and we find out in a brief scene that Clara is asexual and Sal seems to be as well.

The story is about them getting to know ea
Amy Cousins
Ruby Lang & Ana Coqui recommended this book on Twitter & I'm absolutely loving it. Slow burn, futuristic f/f ace romance with delightful worldbuilding elements in the background. It's got a nomadic IT person in possession of a talking, mechanical hummingbird companion & an AI robot who is grieving the loss of her original master, 200yrs or so ago, but still running the tea shop the woman had owned. It's wonderful, gorgeous all the way through, with a deep & thoughtful grounding i ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A gentle, sweet novella featuring independent women (one is an android!) and themes of wanderlust and ennui, bigotry, love, loss, and learning to move forward. Really loved these characters and the overall feel of the story.
Damian Brzeszczyński
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I do not usually read female/female stories, but I was incredibly tempted by the title, and, thankfully, it turned out to be truly interesting and... well, different. In a good way, of course.
I think I'm going to reread this one in the future. Probably more than once.
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
[This is an older review I'm just now adding to Goodreads.]

Clara is a drifter whose ability to repair Raises, Robotic Artificially Intelligent Synthetic Entities (sentient robots with animal forms), means that she can find work nearly everywhere she goes. When Clara visits the Cybernetic Tea Shop on the advice of her newest boss, she's shocked to see that the owner is a 278-year-old android named Sal. It has long been illegal to create sapient androids, and Sal is one of the few remaining models
Oct 09, 2018 added it
Shelves: netgalley
For as short as this story is, it is remarkable. On the surface, you have an asexual woman falling in love with a sexless one, a robot. On top of that though, I was surprised to also get a brief look at a sapient/sentient/human conversation that mimics some of the racist and classist tensions all so common in politics these days. I'm not sure when exactly this story takes place, as the robot, Sal, has been alive for almost 300 years, but Clara, the other main character, is still traveling by tra ...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
Apr 30, 2017 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his) by: Chantel (BW Reviews)
Chantel found and recommended this to me because: "According to some of the reviews this is a f/f romance with an asexual character!"

All because I told her yesterday in an email that I wanted more F/F romance in my life and asexual representation.

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Author of LGBT+ romance and speculative fiction! Likes humans, monsters, and the hazy places between the two.
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* Less Than Three Press Author Page
“You're strong, okay?' That hurt too. 'I'm not strong,' Sal said, frustrated. 'I haven't demonstrated any strength.” 0 likes
“She wondered if they would taste the same over the mere application of ingredients in the correct amounts, without the memory of Karinne explaining how to do it. . . . Logically, she knew it should taste the same regardless. Food was a matter of practical application. But to those who ate, it was full of memories, the significance of 'delicious as always.' It seemed impossible that it could taste the same if it was not made with equally tactile memories going into the cooking.” 0 likes
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