Tuesday 19 December 2023

Sunny by Colin O'Sullivan BLOG TOUR #Sunny #ColinOSullivan @Harper360UK @RandomTTours #BookExtract


In near-future Japan, Susie Sakamoto is mourning the loss of her husband and son to a plane crash. Alone in her big modern house, which feels like more of a prison, Susie spends her days drinking heavily and taking her anger out at the only “sentient” thing left in her life: Sunny, the annoying home robot her husband designed. Susie despises Sunny, and sometimes even gets a sinking feeling that Sunny is out to hurt her.

To escape her paranoia and depression, Susie frequents the seedy, drug-fueled bars of the city, where she hears rumors of The Dark Manual, a set of guidelines that allow you to reprogram your robot for nefarious purposes. In the hopes of finding a way to turn off Sunny for good, Susie begins to search for the manual, only to learn it’s too late: the machines are becoming more sentient and dangerous. Thrust into the center of a dark, corporate war, Susie realizes there’s someone behind the code, pulling the strings. And they want her dead.

With a darkly humorous yet propulsive and lyrical voice, O’Sullivan presents us with an unsettling look at a future that feels all too real. Gripping and thought-provoking, Sunny is a haunting character study of an anxious woman teetering in an anxious time. 

Sunny by Colin O'Sullivan was published on 7 December 2023 by Mariner Books / Harper360UK. I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

Extract from Sunny by Colin O'Sullivan

Two red orbs from the black. Sometimes this is all you get. At night, if all the lights are off, this is all you get, glaring back: two red orbs from deep black. 

These are its eyes. Scarlet, but bloodless. It makes them strange. Eyes with no blood, no whites, are strange. No irises, no change, strange. 

And they do not blink. Homebots have no need to blink. Specks of dust in their eyes won't bother them. No sties. And they do not cry. There are no tear ducts, and anyway, what would they have to cry about?

At night. Lights off. Two red orbs from the black. 

Robots have yet to become sentient beings, though they may be on their way. Susie Sakamoto doesn't think too much about this. Instead what she thinks about is her husband and son, who are most probably dead, and these days she wants to be quite dead herself.  She spends most evenings balled-up on the couch, dishevelled, angry, hurting, hungry without really ever wanting to eat, pondering the best way to go about putting an end to it all. A final solution. Is there? Is there really any way out of this?

The silver, one-metre-tall homebot (Model SH.XL8) is hoovering the living room floor, sucking up dust through the soles of its feet, almost silently, hovering like it is weightless, like it has no body at all and is not a compact, complex mass of wires and circuits encased in plastics, chrome, metals, whatever the hard actual stuff of it is called - Susie does not know the names of such materials, nor does she particularly care; she has enough to be dealing with.

The dirt gets collected in filters in its lower section and gets compressed, and those filters can be later removed, emptied out into the rubbish bin by the 'bot itself. That's right. It is able to remove its own filters. It knows what to do. It can clean itself without any apparent fuss. It can go about its business without any discernible hitch. All menial tasks are done in this way. Fuss-less. Homebots have become rather adept. 

Colin O'Sullivan was born in Killarney, Ireland, in 1974. He is the author of Killarney
Blues, Winner of the Prix Mystère de la critique, a prestigious crime fiction award in France.
His other works of fiction include The Starved Lover Sings, which was published in Russian to great acclaim (under the title "Black Sakura").
His third novel The Dark Manual is to be made into a TV series called "Sunny" by Apple TV.
In 2019 Betimes Books continued his run of provocative novels with the much-lauded 1980s-set novel, My Perfect Cousin.

In 2020 he gave us Marshmallows, a tense noirish tale of crime and revenge set at Christmastime which focuses on the world of the theatre.
And his latest offering is The True Story of Binderella and Other Secret Siblings. A funny take on fairytales for discerning readers of all ages! Available now in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Colin lives and works in Aomori, north Japan.

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