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The Cybernetic Tea Shop

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,138 ratings  ·  282 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
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ebook, 65 pages
Published March 16th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
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Popular Answered Questions
Ibrinar While it is solved for this particular case in general it is relatively easy to convert ebooks to pdf. Calibre can do it for instance though I don't k…moreWhile it is solved for this particular case in general it is relatively easy to convert ebooks to pdf. Calibre can do it for instance though I don't know whether it does it well because I usually only convert in the other direction.(less)
Meredith Katz EDIT:
Updating my previous answer -- there is now a print version available! https://www.amazon.com/Cybernetic-Tea...


Only an ebook so far!…more
EDIT:
Updating my previous answer -- there is now a print version available! https://www.amazon.com/Cybernetic-Tea...


Only an ebook so far!(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,138 ratings  ·  282 reviews


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lov2laf
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
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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. ...more
Jem
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
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Luce
5 STARS.

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
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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
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jade
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the gays. most notably of the soft wlw kind
Recommended to jade by: sci-fi loving queer folks
“clara wrapped her hands around a hot cup, steam curling up around her face like gentle fingers...”

travelling the world while taking an odd tech job here and there, clara gutierrez remains virtually unattached to anything -- that is, until she gets to seattle, and meets one of the few robots left in this world. her name is sal, and she’s been running a tearoom for almost three-hundred years.

what follows is a remarkably thorough exploration of sal’s journey into dealing with her grief
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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
JulesGP
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Cybernetic Tea Shop is a warm hearted, clever turn on the interspecies romance. Clara is an AI tech who has inherited wanderlust from her retired parents who were once migrant workers, the family traveling where the job took them. She’s careful to avoid deep attachments so that she can keep moving on without too much fuss and doesn’t seem to mind. After all, she’s got her own AI companion to keep her company, a hilariously snarky but lovable mockingbird.

Then there’s a wonderful cute-meet wit
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Michele
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
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Joc
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.
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Para (wanderer)
God, this was lovely. It's short, fluffy, very slice of life - a perfect palate cleanser. Yet another book I wouldn't have read if not for the r/Fantasy Bingo challenge - short on time, I needed something to knock out the AI Character square quickly - and I'm very, very glad I did.

Clara is an AI mechanic who likes to move into a new town every year. When she moves to Seattle, she meets Sal - a fully autonomous robot running a tea shop. What follows is a very sweet, ace romance. With tea.

First of
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DivaDiane
I was motivated to read this now for a challenge on my guild ("read Your Books") on Habitica for Asexual Awareness week. It came up on a list. I'm glad I read it.

It's a novella length story about a nomadic young woman whois an AI mechanic, fixing assistant/companion animal AIs' programming and what not. She ends up in Seattle and meets an actual sentient robot (it's now outlawed to create them), who's slowly deteriorating.

The story isn't so much about robots or asexuality as it is about accepti
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Corrie
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 :-)
Tiffany
The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz
Genre: Sci-fi romance
Short summary: A robot who owns a tea shop and a human fall in love.
My rating: 5/5 stars

Plot:
This isn't exactly a plot-driven book, but what plot it did have, mostly character development, was done beautifully. I don't think I've read such good character arcs in a long time.

Characters:
I've already mentioned the character arcs and development, so I'll try to focus on the characters themselves in this section.

Clara: She seemed like a r
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Mimi
3.5 stars

A nice story about two soulmates meeting at the right time in their lives with many moments of sweetness that warm the main pump of my circulatory system.

The writing reminds me of Becky Chambers with its futuristic, yet still grounded, hopepunk style and characterization.

The reason for the 3.5 stars is the slow first half. The story didn't become interesting to me until the main characters met and became friends, at around 50%.

Clara is a tech specializing in advanced AI animal compan
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Wart Hill
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, lgbtq, arc2016, 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
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Beige
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful little love story. It would make a great gift for Valentine's day.

Especially recommended for fans of A Closed and Common Orbit
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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
Charlie Marie
This lovely sapphic novella is one of my absolute favorite reads this year!!

Clara is an asexual lesbian robotics mechanic, with an adorable bestie/sidekick robot bird friend. They travel together, seeing the world and avoiding settling down.

Sal is a sentient/sapient robot, one of the last of her kind, who runs a delightfully anachronistic tea shop. Sal is still grieving for the love of her life, the original owner of the tea shop, who passed away centuries ago. She’s also navigating living in
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Sabrina Grafenberger
The Cybernetic Tea Shop is a sweet and quiet asexual lesbian love story between Clara, a human technician and Sal, a sentient robot. It's also a story about overcoming loss, learning to move forward and finding new purpose.

The story works really well despite having only 65 pages, but it's a little too short to be completely satisfying. I wanted to spend more time with these two adorable characters and get to know them better.
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Kevin
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ai, science-fiction
Great SF novella about intolerance. The more intolerance I see in fiction or in the world the more I hate it. But here's a real zen koan for you, if you hate intolerance do you hate intolerant people, and if you do hate them doesn't that make you intolerant. Anyways I really enjoyed the story as I like tea and Ai, but even if you don't it still is a great story. ...more
Ryan
A heart warming story that was as long as it needed to be and no more.
Amanda
Oh, my heart, this short and sweet novella was so adorable! Not what I'd call fluffy, exactly, either. It struck a fine balance between cozy romance, while also providing a nice bit of social commentary.

I'm giving this 4.5 stars because the beginning was rather slow and generic. Excellent book otherwise! Highly recommended to anyone who wants a lovely, hopeful little read.
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Corrie
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.

Sa
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Jessica Nguyen
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ff-5-stars
It was a very well-written novella. I enjoyed very much the emotion range described for Sal, given that she's a robot. What she felt was so realistic and sympathetic while at the same time logical and believable! I also love the fact about Clara being a tech nerd who can fix robots! ...more
AnnMaree Of Oz
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not sure what to say that others haven't already. Just a unique and emotional tale of difference between an AI and an Asexual technician.

Highly recommend!
...more
Diana Green
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This lovely, (and surprisingly deep),novella made my day. While it does start rather slow, the characters and plot develop beautifully, offering one of the most thoughtful depictions of an AI protagonist I've ever read.

On the surface it could be seen as simply a sweet romance between two asexual heroines, but there is much more going on in this story. It explores themes of free will, prejudice, the nature of humanity, and more. I loved it and will definitely look for other work from this author
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Pam
This was really interesting. The writing and world-building were excellent, just not sure how much I bought into the relationship...
Lady Amanda
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a lovely little love story! It completely has cozy "rainy day" vibe, perfect to read on a cold day with a warm cup of tea (or coffee) while curled up in a blanket. I read this basically in one sitting, on a cold morning, curled in a blanket, drinking coffee and it was pure bliss.

Katz really manages to give such human emotions and experiences to Sal, without ever letting you forget she is a robot. She is simultaneously a robot and a person, no question. The best expressions of love
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Sarah
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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