The fictional tale begins in a spacious PI office in the city of Los Angeles. A robot that goes by the name Raymond Electromatic occupies the office with his boss/friend/supercomputer, Ada. Goal numero uno is to turn a quick profit. By day they run a legit PI buisness. But I will clue you in on a juicy secret, on the side they do anonymous contract kills. While Ada draws in the potential clients, Ray carries out the “work”.
A woman in a red dress walks into his office asking him to seek out an actor who she personally wants to never breath again. That’s when their job begins to get tricky. Keep in mind that this is not how Ray and Ada like to carry out their under the table business. But when the client has gold shining in their faces it’s impossible to turn her away. As you can imagine, the whole thing ends up getting a bit more convoluted then a simple assassination mission and Ray finds himself falling deeper into a darker conspiracy.
The theme of the book is a mix of L.A. Noir and science fiction. One interesting fact in the story: Ray is the last robot on earth. The human race had come to the conclusion that automatons were taking up all menial labor jobs and decided on a robot free society. Poor Ray is forced to work in a world that doesn’t truly care for his existence, yet he still manages to make it work for his benefit. When he walks the streets, people avert their eyes and try to make as little contact with him as possible, inadvertently making it easier for him to do his job. Like the intelligent bionic human that he is he manages to make being an outcast into a profitable occupation.
One of the things that truly drew me in, other then his humorous one-liners, was his effort to understand the way that people tick. He has a very logical way of thinking. Only he’s not blessed with the ability to lack emotion like your stereotypical robot. His curiosity with humanoids is similar to that of a human observing an animal in it’s natural habitat, trying to figure out their natural behavior. Ironically enough, I feel like I connected well with Ray as I read the story. It had a similar view point to that of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, at least that was the depiction that I received. As a man with Asperger’s, it was actually kind of refreshing to be able to read from Ray’s perspective. He’s logical in his thinking while maintaining a certain sense of right and wrong.
I have to say that this book is definitely something to read for the outcasts of the world. If you’ve ever felt alienated, dissimilar to those around you, or if you flat out don’t belong anywhere, I urge you to read this book. It’ll make you realize that even if you live in a society that doesn’t appreciate your unique qualities, you can still find a way to make something of yourself regardless of how others perceive you.
Written by Dante