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Publisher's Summary

The remarkable debut novel from critically acclaimed author Martin L. Shoemaker. 

Shoemaker proves why he has consistently been praised as one of the best story writers in SF today with this touching, thoughtful, action-packed debut novel, based on his award-winning short story "Today I Am Paul". 

TODAY 

Mildred has Alzheimer's. As memories fade, she acquires the aid of a full-time android to assist her in everyday life. Carey. Carey takes care of Mildred, but its true mission is to fill in the gaps in Mildred's past. To bring yesterday into today by becoming a copy. But not merely a copy of a physical person. A copy from the inside out. 

I AM 

After Mildred passes, Carey must find a new purpose. For a time, that purpose is Mildred's family. To keep them safe from harm. To be of service. There is Paul Owens, the overworked scientist and business leader. Susan Owens, the dedicated teacher. And Millie, a curious little girl who will grow up alongside her android best friend. And Carey will grow up with her. Carey cannot age. But Carey can change. 

CAREY 

Carey struggles. Carey seeks to understand life's challenges. Carey makes its own path. Carey must learn to live. To grow. To care. To survive. To be.

©2019 Martin L. Showmaker (P)2019 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

“A dazzling ride through the near future. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve never seen anything remotely like it.” (Jack McDevitt, author of the Alex Benedict series)

What listeners say about Today I Am Carey

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Carey is the AI we all need.

I love well-thought-out stories about AIs and Martin L. Shoemaker's debut novel didn't disappoint. Telling a story filled with emotional impact is difficult enough and doing it in an effective and believable manner from the perspective of an artificial intelligence is nearly impossible, yet this tale does it extremely well. Shoemaker carefully and skillfully weaves his understanding of technology with a powerful empathy and love of family, to create an artificial intelligence like no other. A quiet and thought-provoking story that gives me hope we will all have a Carey in our future.

3 people found this helpful

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Ok I Love This Book

This book really brings home what it will be like to live in the very near future. And I can see myself as Mildred. My favorite part has got to be the section about the library card. The author realistically describes the complex details of how humans and androids might interact with each other, with humor and sensitivity.

2 people found this helpful

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Masterfully Written, Emotionally Charged

Today I am Paul is my most favorite short story of all time. When I first heard about this book I was both excited For more and worried that it would not live up to the caliber of the short story. It well surpassed it. Best thing I’ve read in I don’t know how long and I read a lot.

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I enjoyed this story very much

After listening to another book by this author which I enjoyed as well, I came across this one. It's the story of a family and it's caretaker. Well written and well done.

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Slice of life

it's a slice of life novel with barely any science in it. that's not to say it's bad, it's a solid slice of life novel, but it completely falls flat on deeper explorations of every topic except Alzheimer's.

if you're looking for a book that explores the deeper meaning of an android becoming self aware, this book doesn't do it.

The premise if the book, which involves the awakening of an AI to self awareness, is not explored. The book reads like, "here is the optimal way for someone supporting those struggling with Alzheimer's to behave" rather than "here is an inner look at how an AI would actually learn and grow over time."

Carey is too perfect, makes no mistakes, is constantly selfless, reads everyone perfectly. It is completely flawless and stands as a model for human behavior. That is the crux of my complaint. AI would make all sorts of mistakes and errors and react to things in different ways than human beings, especially in its inner life.

So, overall, three stars. Solid support characters, genuinely moving moments, and neglect of the setting and implications of technological change.

If you know someone caring for a Alzheimer's patient, or suffering from it themselves, I recommend this book. Otherwise, meh. Could do worse.

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Moving & thought provoking.

An outstanding book. A bit sad towards the end, but it makes you appreciate things.

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  • Richard Denton
  • 12-03-19

Promising start tails off badly

An interesting premise that could have been so much more than it was. The potential to explore the existential nature of the human condition, memory and love is botched or sidestepped, resulting in a superficial effort that reads like a banal and saccharine journal and drags badly in the second half. Very disappointing.

On the plus side it is well read and accessibly written. It is just a shame it is devoid of intellectual stimuli. I don't like leaving overly critical reviews as a rule but the hype surrounding this seems exceedingly Ill deserved. Just my honest opinion. Each to their own