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Days of Allison (2006)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Days of Allison (2006) Author: Eric Shapiro

Eric Shapiro's IT'S ONLY TEMPORARY novella is one of the best end-of-the-world stories I've read, so when he sent me an advance copy of his new book, DAYS OF ALLISON to review, it immediately went to the top of my reading list.

The story takes place in the new future, where technology has created nearly perfect robotic replicas of humans - and it's quite common for people to purchase one as a 'mate'. After all, they can get exactly what they want without the hassle of dating. One such robot is given to a nerdly man by his domineering mother, as he's had no inclination of finding a woman on his own. In fact, he prefers to be by himself, admitting that 'he's the loneliest when he's around other people'.

When he first receives Allison, however, he enjoys the company - and learns in a quick way that this isn't necessarily going to be an easy, stress-free relationship. After tall, the opening page of the novella states 'Allison and I were together for fourteen days'. So it's really about how everything goes horribly wrong between the two of them.

Although the book has an undeniable science-fiction aspect in that it deals with robots, it works on a realistic level about relationships and how human perception is EVERYTHING in such relationships. I've read numerous stories about human-looking robots, watched all those old TWILIGHT ZONE and OUTER LIMITS television episodes that have dealt with the subject matter, and DAYS OF ALLISON clearly stands out above them all.

The only negative thing I can say about Shapiro's work is that I don't want to stop reading it--the novella format he excels at is too damn short!

Available from

Crowswing books at www.crowswingbooks.co.uk

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