Mike Miguchi is the head of Miguchi Ltd, a company that has been at the forefront of developing the finest androids for two centuries. When he hires psychologist Amanda Livingston, he wants her to find a way to install a soul into the high-end model X-42, which physically is already virtually indistinguishable from humans.
Amanda gets to work with Patricia VanLandingham, the company’s top programmer, and one night, over the consumption of some fine cannabis, an idea develops…
Humour is a big part of this short novel, in two senses: first, it had me laughing out loud several times (so don’t read this at work), second, Amanda and Patsy consider it to be part of the personality to be built.
I liked how the characters are distinguished by different styles of speech; that is not something often found in online fiction, and D.J. Belt carries this off very well.
This one goes into my hall of fame without a second thought. Highly recommended reading, or, as Patsy might put it: This story is radical like, I mean I really love it.
P.S. If you like investigations into ‘artificial personalities’, you might want to give Heinlein’s ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ and ‘Friday’ a try (but you’ll have to buy the books).