Robot is one of millions of androids on an Earth that recently saw the extinction of human life. While Robot's mechanical brothers and sisters seem happy, Robot finds himself lost and missing the only friend he had, a human named Mike whose family accepted Robot as a piece of their personal puzzle. Without both the mistakes and the capacity for miracles that define human civilization, is civilization even worth having? Explore this question in the hilarious yet heartbreaking full-length debut of popular Chicago performer Mason Johnson. A Kurt Vonnegut for the 21st century, his answers are simultaneously droll, surprising and touching, and will make you rethink the limits of what a storyteller can accomplish within science fiction.
"Take an early interest in Dr. Seuss, mix with critically bad sci-fi movies such as Enemy Mine and Tron, blend in a heavy dose of 'Star Wars' literature, stir in 'mecha' TV shows like 'Robotech,' boil with Dashiell Hammett detective fiction and top this concoction off with a studied understanding of Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Dorothy Allison. That gives you Sad Robot Stories." --Chicago Tribune
"If we were to prescribe the image of a human as the synecdoche for literature, and your basic C-3PO as Science Fiction, then Sad Robot Stories is a costume of a robot worn by what you assume is a human, but is really just C-3PO playing around." --HTMLGIANT
"A book that, despite its premise, reads more like fable and allegory than campy science fiction. It may playfully explore a host of complex, timely issues...but at its core it's about the magic of storytelling." --Gapers Block
"Mason Johnson understands what it means to be human." --Beach Sloth
"Simple without being simplistic....[Johnson has] a rare flair for language and imagery and lovely turns of phrase....A beautiful little gem of a book." --Digital Sextant
"If David Lynch were to develop a dystopian retelling of Pinocchio, it would be like Mason Johnson's Sad Robot Stories." --Chicago Literati
"A brilliant little book....How could you not fall in love with Robot?" --silent lucidity
"[A] fantastic book for group discussion...the end is a huge, huge surprise. Thoroughly enjoyed this little book!" --A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
"The reason Sad Robot Stories seems so surprising is because, amidst its counter-cultural trappings, it dares to make thoroughly conventional claims....By injecting variety into an increasingly predictable subgenre, Mason Johnson invites conversation -- and makes 'Vonnegut-esque' literature daring again." --Mixer
"The world is full of stories detailing how robots, in the guise of anthropoid metal golems with human minds, might feel about identity and slavery. But this novella takes the golem conceit and skates around the big-T Themes, rather than going through them in the usual way. It winks meaningfully, even flirtatiously, as it passes them by, but you're too busy with the experience to give them the attention they deserve on the way through. Only once it's over do you look back and realise, whew, quite what a journey you've just been on." --Sabotage Reviews
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Supplemental and promotional material:
An interview with the author, explaining more about how this book came out
A critical essay by the publisher on why he signed the book (coming soon)
A "passing the torch" critical essay by Meera Lee Sethi, CCLaP's last published author, on what she likes about this newest book (coming soon)
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Cover image: Don Solo
Special additional thanks to this book's assistant editor, Robert O'Connor, as well as shadow editors Allegra Pusateri and Karl Wolff.
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