Alpha Bots

(Book 1 of the Womanoid Diaries)

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Pub Date 20 Mar 2020 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2020

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"Wholly inspired and brimming with satirical genius.” —The Booklife Prize

"A provocative, tongue-in-cheek look at male-female relations." —Kirkus Reviews

“MUST READ! A sidesplittingly hilarious and clever feminist SF novel about an AI housewife who gets rebooted and rebels against her programmed settings.”—Reedsy Discovery

All the women in New Stepford are AI...
...even a corrupt cop named Maggie.
Can anyone stop the uprising?

In the near future, artificial intelligence will be in every home. She will be whatever you want her to be. That’s right. You can have a charming womanoid do all your cooking and cleaning for you. Just think. No more chores! She can be your wife, a nanny to your kids, or just the housekeeper. It’s all up to you.

Just set your user preferences.

But first, this amazing technology has to pass alpha testing.

One robot woman, Cookie Rifkin, keeps failing. She needs to figure out how to control her anxiety, but her husband set his user preferences too low for her to learn. He just wants a pleasure robot, but she keeps fighting her programming.

Will Cookie ever fulfill her potential?
Or will her story end in another fatal error?

"Wholly inspired and brimming with satirical genius.” —The Booklife Prize

"A provocative, tongue-in-cheek look at male-female relations." —Kirkus Reviews

“MUST READ! A sidesplittingly hilarious and...

A Note From the Publisher

ALPHA BOTS is listed in the MARC database and is available for discounted purchase from Ingram Spark under Print ISBN: 978-1-946948-30-4.

While exploring sensitive gender issues, ALPHA BOTS manages to maintain the page-turning tension of a technothriller, making it the perfect book club book. The works of Philip K. Dick, William Peter Blatty, and Isaac Asimov are directly referenced and fully integrated as plot points. The narrative also mashes up content from Ira Levin's "Stepford Wives" and Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" brilliantly. This title is guaranteed to spark lively discussion, and the author has provided twenty provocative book club questions in the back matter.

Everything you need for ordering is provided in the press kit below.

ALPHA BOTS is listed in the MARC database and is available for discounted purchase from Ingram Spark under Print ISBN: 978-1-946948-30-4.

While exploring sensitive gender issues, ALPHA BOTS...

Advance Praise

Fembots run uproariously amok in this satirical SF series starter by Ava Lock.

Fembots run uproariously amok in this satirical SF series starter by Ava Lock.

Marketing Plan

- AMS digital ad campaigns.
- Wide distribution on over two dozen international platforms.
- Featured on Reedsy Discovery.
- Ongoing Twitter promotions.
- Aggressive review campaign.
- Giveaway campaigns: Book Funnel, Amazon, Goodreads, - NetGalley, & Twitter.
- Public library outreach.
- Book club outreach.
- Regional B&N book signings.
- Discount promos: Bookbub.
- Audiobook in production.
- Ongoing blog tour.

- AMS digital ad campaigns.
- Wide distribution on over two dozen international platforms.
- Featured on Reedsy Discovery.
- Ongoing Twitter promotions.
- Aggressive review campaign.
- Giveaway campaigns:...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781946948311
PRICE $3.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)

Average rating from 32 members

Featured Reviews

Very enjoyable with humor and mystery and fun characters. This is a good story wrapped in an interesting take on AI. Scifi fans will likely enjoy this one.

I really appreciate the review copy!!

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This reading was interesting, and very funny. I admit that it was very original, I really like being with Cookie in her journey.
I admit that while reading, I was impatient to know more about what Cookie was going to do next.
I aslo loved, how she became her own person and not the bots who was owned.

I'm more a fan of M/F books, and I had hard time from time to time with the LGBTQIA part !! I'm sure some people will definitely be into it and will love it, it's just not my thing !!

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This one wasn't for me - which is a shame because the writing was really good. I picked this up as it was tagged as LGBTQ but the content is minimal. This isn't the kind of thing I would normally read, but I think if you're into AI and The Stepford Wives you'd really enjoy this book (disclaimer - I've never seen the movie).

I appreciated the storyline - I just didn't enjoy it per se. The strong womanoid characters are fascinating, as are is the story. It is quite dark, there's lots of trauma in various different ways, both emotionally and physically, but a lot of it is natural byproduct of the storyline.

Unfortunately for me the book is just a little bit too long - I felt like there were a number of filler scenes that weren't strictly necessary to move the story along - though again, this may just be because this isn't my kind of book and you might not notice if you're really into it.

All in all, if you normally read books along these lines I would recommend you read this one.

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Alpha Bots is one of those books that you'll probably either adore or be a bit puzzled by. I had the latter reaction - there's a lot going on in this story of humanoid female androids, their husbands, friendships, and controllers. Cookie is a fembot straight out of the Stepford Wives, but gets a chance at freedom. It all gets quite weird from then on, and you're never sure what's real or what's coming from an unreliable narrator. It felt disjointed as a result. The dialogue is entertaining and you do come to care for the women and their longing for something more out of life.

I was given a copy of the book to review by Net Galley. I have no conflicts of interest.

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*I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange from an honest review.*

Thanks to them and Ava Lock for allowing me to read this.

3.7 stars.

A dystopian world in which all females are bots and males but one are human. A depiction of submissiveness of women, how outrageous seemed to the 'perfect housewife' that there were others living differently, The Truman Show delusion and Stockholm Syndrome greatly intertwined.

Ava's style is quite easy to read but not too simplistic. It consists mainly on conversations, which speeds you up and gives you a constant sense of movement in time.

The rating given is because days after having finished it, I still have no idea how I feel. I loved the general story and the fact that it defends equality and diversity. However, at times I felt like reading scenes from any Tarantino film or The Fight Club, mainly. Certain ideas felt forced, as if introduced just because the writer wanted to mention them without previous or later connections.

One of the scenes was Tarantino style, but with badly harmed animals as explicitly pictured in words, which I personally find disturbing.

There are TW for abuse, explicit sexual language, animal harm, and explicit violence.

Mostly, I found this book quite entertaining, reflecting and enjoyable.

I would certainly recommend it if you like things like Transpoitting, Quentin Tarantino, The Fight Club, dystopian, sci-fi and a creative author.

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Boy did this read go into the uncanny valley for me fast. I'm currently studying a masters and my research topic has been along the lines of inauthenticity, the uncanny and the rise of AI, in particular focusing on sex robots, so Alpha Bots, really hit home in that regard. I would greatly recommend this book t those who love sci-fi books or films, it's very dystopian, and the best description would be if the realm of Bladerunner was combined with an episode of Black Mirror, you'd end up with this book, perhaps it's due to the global pandemic but if sci-fi satire has ironically become more of a please humanity don't go down this path. Especially given since the pandemic the purchase of sex dolls and sex robots has been on the rise!

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I don’t really know how to feel about this book. The characters were interesting and it was paced pretty well, but at the same time I felt like it was a little long and could have been edited better. There was something that just felt missing with this book for me, and I’m not sure what that is.

**Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing an e-arc in exchange for an honest review**

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This book was amazing had me thinking of Stepford wives and even a newer program humans very similar.
Loved reading this book think it may be the start of a series chapter 1 of new book was at the end but no spoilers here. If you watched humans when it was on tv and watched the stepford wives movies (original and newer version) then you will love this book.

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Alpha Bots is a take on The Stepford Wives with a robot-powered feminist uprising front and center. It’s fast-paced, funny, satirical, and absurd, with some campy horror thrown in (some parts are downright gruesome). Other readers have said this is Stepford Wives meets Fight Club meets Truman Show, and I think that’s pretty spot-on. These AI women represent the desires of bottom-of-the-barrel cishet men, from expectations of submissiveness to racial fetishism, but will they be able to push beyond their programming?

The satire gets dark, and this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not for the faint of heart, for sure. I feel like Alpha Bots caught me when I was in just the right mood for it. I’m not sure I completely followed the plot, but it was an entertaining ride!

Note: There are a LOT of trigger warnings. You can find a chapter-by-chapter list in the paperback version’s “Look Inside” preview on Amazon.

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There was a lot to unpack with this story, and I’m still trying to figure out how I felt about it. The premise was very interesting, very unconventional. We see Cookie evolve from a mindless housewife to an intelligent heroine ready to right the world’s wrongs. I can’t describe much more than that for fear of spoilers. In the vaguest terms possible, I didn’t really like the ending. I didn’t think it resolved all of the problems, and I thought Maggie from the beginning was more complex than she seemed at the end.
A fun but thought provoking read. Four stars.

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A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me with an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is not my usual genre,  however I wanted to take the opportunity to read something from outside my norm. And I am glad I did!! Thank you for  opening up my mind to something totally different. Characters were so well developed that I felt as though I knew them. I love when a book draws you into the story and it feels like you are living it with them.

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"Alpha Bots by Ava Lock is an interesting mystery, that will leave you guessing on what will happen for the majority of the story. It has great humor and character development. I love stories that seem fresh, and this is definitely one that I haven't read something similar to before. It has LGBTQ representation and I really liked that, I appreciate more books are coming out with representation.

**Received as an ARC for honest review thanks to Netgalley and publisher for the opportunity**

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I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange from an honest review.

I typically dont read LGBT or Sci- fi type of books, but still enjoyed this book. It had an really original concept, female android models are build for the sole purpose to be someone's wives. They are used to cook, clean and for sex. The minute they bring more trouble than pleasure, they are allowed to be killed off.

What happens when they become jailbreak and are allowed to overide user restrictions?

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It was intense in parts, graphic in some, and overall thought provoking. Still not sure how everything came together but I could easily see this happening once AI comes together. Glad I came across this book.

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Alpha Bots was an absolutely wild adventure. Without spoiling too much, it's Stepford Wives meets Fight Club, brushing up to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep along the way.

Cookie is a perfect housewife with a few secrets (and a hefty banana bill) who finds herself in the centre of a an experiment.

I found this such a fun read and laughed aloud more than once. It's dark and violent at times, but is overwhelmingly just a great adventure. There's a chapter by chapter trigger warning list which may be a real help to some readers.

It's got social criticism in spades and it's just awesome to see something like the Stepford Wives from the point of view of one of the AIs.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publishers for hi icing me this ebook advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Best way to describe this one is deliciously weird in all the right ways. On point with the character development and story, a really interesting take on the Stepford Wives concept. The way Maggie and Cookie's relationship and personalities evolve made this book for me.

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Mixed feelings. It was a hell of a ride, it went up and down like crazy and I still can't say - do I like this book or not?
I started loving it because female AIs becoming self-aware, starting a revolution against men and forming a female Fight Club? Yes! Give me more!
Then I reached multiple parts over the book which... Well, I wasn't a fan of. Paula's death, for example. Maggie turning out to be the villain. Wayne. I did not like Wayne. I am sorry for everyone who did but for me? Nope. I was actually rooting for Cookie x Maggie throughout the book.
Now, would I recommend it? For a selected group of people who is interested in feminism, but also liked Fight Club. I am probably not going to read the second book. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great either.

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this was a really enjoyable scifi novel, the characters were great and it was really well-written. I look forward to more from the series and author.

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3.5 stars. What if the Stepford wives rebel against their oppressive husbands……..fight club style? Well, then you end up with this book. This book is a satire on so many social issues and it does so with a bizarre mixture of robotics and violence, and a big wink to several sci-fi classics.

The book is about Cookie a robotic housewife whose settings are set so strict by her husband that she has no freedom or free will at all. Until she meets a cop, Maggie, and an unknown man, Wayne. From that moment on she realizes she could be a free woman, but she has to want to break free herself and this is not always easy or painless (emotionally and physically). I won’t go further into detail to avoid spoilers, but the first part of the book strongly adhered to the “Stepford Wives” and “Fight Club” storylines, whereas during the second part of the book the story completely breaks free.

I love “new” technology in sci-fi books, only I have this thing that I want to understand (or try to understand) the tech that is described and I want to believe that this tech could be possible sometime in the future. Some of the tech in this book sounded wonderful, but I struggled to see how it was possible. For instance, there is this recyclone device. You can throw something in it and it breaks it down to the atomic level of the material. Ok, I get that and I believe there could be possibilities to do that, but then if you think really hard, you can also create anything you want with this machine and this is where I got lost. How is this possible? Obviously, this is not so important for the storyline and it’s more of a pet peeve of mine, but I just had to mention it for those tech lovers out there.

There is a LGBTQIA label on this book, which is one of the reasons I decided to read it, but I have to say that, even though there is LGBTQIA representation, the content is rather minimal.
I’m still not completely decided on how I feel about this book, I was intrigued throughout the entire book and really wanted to continue reading, but at the same time it unsettled me at more than one occasion, which reduced my enjoyment of the book. The book also changed direction a few times, which sometimes made it difficult for me to follow. That said, this is a book that I will remember, so I round up my rating to 4 stars.

This book is not for everyone, it’s dark, gritty and violent, but at the same time completely over the top and funny. If you’re looking for a story that advocates equality and diversity and you like the Stepford Wives, Fight Club, the bloody Tarantino style or the craziness in Trainspotting then I recommend reading this book.

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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A little disjointed at times, but over all very funny. I really enjoyed the writing and the more character driven speculative fiction aspect, and the campy humor that was sprinkled throughout. I think where it falls short is that there is a large reliance on the reader being familiar with various science fiction narratives from different medias (film, prose, etc.) in order for this to be understood as a feminist satire.

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This is the first book I have read by Ava Lock and am grateful to the publishers for letting me read an ARC. The story intrigued me from the start, a revisit to the Stepford Wives but solely from the view of one wife who is aware that she was an artificial life form. The book addresses many themes including misogyny, feminism, romance, dominance and non-hetero relationships.

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