To give humanity peace, the artificial intelligence Samsara will wage an eternal war…
In a universe torn by combat, Samsara’s world is the final haven that refugees will pay any price to enter. At the Selection Bureau, Suzhen Tang upholds the AI’s will and grants citizenship to those deemed worthy. When she meets new arrival Ovuha, she judges Ovuha a model candidate—educated, beautiful, a perfect fit for utopia.
But Ovuha carries with her the seeds of battle, and what she brings may spell apocalyptic change: the breaking of Samsara, the end of paradise.
Machine’s Last Testament (Prime Books) is a cyberpunk dystopia that explores the brutalization of hegemony and the cost of apparent utopia. Pitched as
Psycho-Pass meet Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels but with (more) lesbians, set against a backdrop of intergalactic war where an AI is determined to break humanity to mend it. Takes place in the Machine Mandate universe but is strictly standalone.
- Systematic dehumanization. The setting is a dystopia where status is determined by citizenship; non-citizens are subjected to detainment, employment discrimination, institutional brutalization, and treated as an underclass. References to sexual assault in this context are made but not depicted, with one mention of drugged rape being brought up as something a character suspects may happen to them in detention. None of the primary characters have been or are subjected to sexual assault at any point, either in their past or in the book’s events.
- Suicidal ideation. No suicide attempt is graphically depicted but ideation is referenced. One instance of a minor character receiving legal, assisted suicide off the page.
- State surveillance. Each citizen is implanted with an algorithmic guide which surveils and enforces societally approved behavior. Control of citizens does not extend to their sexuality or gender; this setting has a queer-normative cultural norm.
- On-page sex. Fully consensual; no instance of sexual assault occurs in the text. Most of the sex scenes are not graphic, especially compared to my other books. One instance of temperature play and skin burning in a consensual, carefully negotiated BDSM context; aftercare is included. (Futuristic medical care means that, in this world, burns can be treated easily and quickly.)