This episode Jason chats with Simon Stephenson, whose book Set My Heart to Five debuts from HarperCollins this September. Set My Heart to Five is on tap for adaptation by Edgar Wright, the director behind Baby Driver and the upcoming Last Night in Soho (set for an April 2021 release).
Set My Heart to Five is set in the year 2054, and follows a human-esque bot named Jared as he slowly becomes sentient and sets out to find his family (i.e. the programmer who created him). Says the publisher:
Set in a 2054 where humans have locked themselves out of the internet and Elon Musk has incinerated the moon, Set My Heart to Five is the hilarious yet profoundly moving story of one android's emotional awakening.
One day at a screening of a classic movie, Jared notices a strange sensation around his eyes. Bots are not permitted to have feelings, but as the theater lights come on, Jared discovers he is crying.
Soon overwhelmed by powerful emotions, Jared heads west, determined to find others like himself. But a bot with feelings is a dangerous proposition, and Jared's new life could come to an end before it truly begins. Unless, that is, he can somehow change the world for himself and all of his kind.
Unlike anything you have ever read before, Set My Heart to Five is a love letter to outsiders everywhere.
Stephenson chats about the likelihood of a soon-coming world where practically every conceivable job will be occupied by robots (with the exception of anything that requires empathy.)
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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology series, and the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror series Surf Mystic, under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, debuted with the novel Night of the Book Man this summer.