|Listen to first the chapter|
Celia's body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference. Living on the cutting edge of biomechanical science was supposed to allow her to lead a normal life in a near-perfect copy of her physical self while awaiting a cure for a rare and deadly genetic disorder.
But a bioandroid isn't a real person. Not according to the protesters outside Celia's house, her coworkers, or even her wife. Not according to her own evolving view of herself. As she begins to strip away the human affectations and inhibitions programmed into her new body, the chasm between the warm pains of flesh-and-blood life and the chilly comfort of the machine begins to deepen. Love, passion, reality, and memory war within Celia's body until she must decide whether to betray old friends or new ones in the choice between human and machine.
"The novel is unrelenting, driven by Pelland's unflinching eye and her absolute willingness to shatter her very vulnerable, not very emotionally resilient protagonist. It's a powerful novel, certain to emerge as one of the best of the year. I'll be remembering it next award season."
—Adam-Troy Castro, SCI FI Magazine
"I'm not sure anyone else could take material like posthuman politics, kinky sex and body modification, and explicit metaphors for the abortion debate and euthanasia, and turn it all into a heartrending love story, but Jennifer Pelland nails the dismount every time."
—NK Jemesin, Hugo-nominated author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
"Jennifer Pelland's MACHINE is the kind of book that sticks in your soul. The story and characters sink under your skin and challenge the way you think and haunt you long afterwards. This is what science fiction is meant to be."
—Lyda Morehouse, author of Resurrection Code and Archangel Protocol
"Science fiction, at its very best, fearlessly challenges readers and compels them to look at the world around them in a different light – and that is exactly what Jennifer Pelland’s brilliant debut novel Machine does in grand style."
"It's at times disturbing, at times heartbreaking and it always keeps the reader on their toes. The novel offers an awful lot of questions for the reader to mull over. So many in fact that a couple of days after I finished it, I still haven't been able to pick my next read. Not many books manage to do that."
—Val's Random Comments
"Good science fiction makes you think. Pulp science fiction entertains you. Great science fiction, on the other hand, makes you think while entertaining you. Such is the case with Machine by Jennifer Pelland."
—Bibrary Book Lust
Katerina Zagustina (aka Katja Faith)
Don't forget to check out Jennifer's short fiction collection Unwelcome Bodies also from Apex Publications!
Jennifer Pelland lives outside Boston with an Andy, three cats, an impractical amount of books, and an ever-growing stash of belly dance gear. She's a two-time Nebula nominee, and her short story collection Unwelcome Bodies is also available from Apex. Visit her on the web at www.jenniferpelland.com.