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The Cybernetic Tea Shop

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Clara Gutierrez is an AI repair technician and a wanderer. Her childhood with her migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering for too long, so she moves from place to place across retro-futuristic America.

Sal is a fully autonomous robot. Older than the law declaring her kind illegal due to ethical concerns, she is at best out of place in society and at
...more
Kindle Edition, 67 pages
Published July 31st 2019 by Soft Cryptid (first published March 16th 2016)
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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…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!

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  493 ratings  ·  135 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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jem
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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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
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Danika at The Lesbrary
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 ...more
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.
JulesGP
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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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 :-)
Wart Hill
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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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.
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.

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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
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!
Kevin
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, ai
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.
Diana Green
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-f-fiction
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
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Lucille
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!
Aleksandra
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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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
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Celine
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Mel
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
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Lily
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
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Bobbi
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, scifi, ff-romance
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.
Tessa
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this ^^ A very quick and sweet read :D
Quartzen
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Alexa
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,
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AJ
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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iam
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-spec, lgbtqia, sapphic
This made me cry!
Cute novella featuring a programmer with wanderlust and a robot doing her best to run a dying tea shop.
Conversations about the humanity of artifical intelligence always make me emotional, and this was no exception. The romance was in the background of the plot about the tea shop and internal conflict. Itwas soft and lovely, with both protagonists being ace.
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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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“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.” 1 likes
“You're strong, okay?' That hurt too. 'I'm not strong,' Sal said, frustrated. 'I haven't demonstrated any strength.” 0 likes
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