The Pinocchio Chip

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In a futuristic society where AIs are commonplace, there remains skepticism. For all the benefits AIs provide, doubt lingers among humans due to differences in motivation and reasoning. For Photina, a seasoned AI, being raised and taught the ways of humans has proven personally beneficial after a string of events affects her societal standing because of death, murder, and betrayal.

Corrinne, Photina’s mentor, passes away; with the inability to experience human emotions, Photina is confused about how to move forward. After a potential incident at the burial, she notices a string of corrupt code in her programming, and doubt sets in her heart and mind. She begins experiencing flashes of someone’s memory entangled with intense human emotions, with the happenings being violent and emotion-ridden, foreign concepts to her and many AIs due to their code of conduct programmed within themselves to protect humans.

Photina must place trust in those she would have initially been hesitant toward on her path to discovery for answers for herself and others. Secrets of lost characters come to light, and new ones reveal themselves; help from others is crucial when blame creeps in for serial murders across the city. The penalty for AIs includes no court but instant deactivation.

Photina works with Drew, a fellow AI, and other humans to track down her recently discovered twin, Gemini, with whom she shares memories through “entanglement.” When Gemini is more advanced and programmed with human emotions, and Photina is not, and given the intensity of emotions, can the two mesh cohesively?

The Pinocchio Chip will appeal to science fiction fans, as the story is set in the future and contains robots and advanced technology; for familiar readers, it is also a novella in the Brink of Life series. With characters and references to the series, The Pinocchio Chip remains a proper standalone. This reader found/interpreted little “jabs” made by the author within the story about society’s current behavior while referencing it from the futuristic point of view; it was entertaining and accurate. The story contains a balanced amount of religion and science, with neither reading as overpowering.

The overall story’s theme is about moral and ethical dilemmas with varying points of view for the reader to contemplate. Understanding and accepting yourself is difficult, but it reads differently when the example is from AIs. The author’s background as a psychiatrist is evident through the emotion-heavy theme and makes sense to the reader. Despite the shortened length, the reader will enjoy plenty of action and answers!

Reviewed By:

Author Rick Moskovitz
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 142 pages
Publisher Fluke Tale Productions
Publish Date 15-Mar-2024
ISBN 9798990163805 Buy this Book
Issue June 2024
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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