The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir
By Lesley Allen
First of all don't read this if you're feeling a bit down. Otherwise do read this!
This story of a young girl, Biddy Weir, whose life is effectively taken from her by bullies, one in particular, who nicknames her Bloody Weirdo is searingly painful to read.
It takes someone who notices and someone else who is willing to give time, energy and love to this bloody weirdo before Biddy eventually reaches a turning point. It's not all sorted out at the end but the ending is satisfactory and you can feel hope for the future for the real Biddy Weir. But oh dear, it's a hard journey. ****
Happiness for Humans
By PZ Reizin
Jen and Tom are the humans; Aiden and Aisling are the AI machines being taught to be 'human', or to appear human.
Jen's job is to talk to Aiden to improve his conversational skills but when her boyfriend leaves her for another woman Aiden decides it's time for him to find her the perfect mate. Not only that but to bring them together somehow.
And all works wonderfully well with our two humans falling in love. But then the developer of the machines suspects that Aiden and Aisling, who is helping Aiden, have gone rogue - which indeed they have - and sends out another AI named Sinai to track them down and delete them.
It's a love story and a great tale in which I ended up caring not only for the humans but their machines as well. It's also slightly worrying. Machines like Aiden and Sinai are already in existence and the potential threat they pose, should they truly go not only rogue but evil as well, is monumental. And because they're so intelligent they are aware of all the traps and safe-guards put in place by their developers to take effect in the case of rampant misbehaviour (for want of a better description).