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Uncanny Valley Book 1
by C.A. Gray
Genre: YA Dystopian, Coming of Age
**Dystopian coming-of-age with superintelligent A.I.**
Rebecca Cordeaux knows exactly what her future will hold: she will marry
Andy, her crush of the last five years. Once Andy is ready to settle
down, she’s sure he will discover that she is his soulmate. After
several small parts on stage, Rebecca knows she can become a renowned
actress. Her writing also shows promise as a future author. Robots
perform most human jobs that can be automated, leaving many free to
pursue their personal creative interests.
But Rebecca’s mother Karen fears the new world of robots, and insists her
brilliant daughter join a university research team, studying the
hazards of a complete robotic economy. Rebecca’s father Quentin was
obsessed with the subject to a degree that even her mother considered
absurd, prior to his untimely death. So long as she can reserve
enough of her time to pursue her true passions on the side, Rebecca
half-heartedly agrees to join the research team, if only to please
her widowed mother. There she joins a post-doc named Liam, whose
conspiracy theories rival even those of her late father. Liam is
convinced that world Republic leader William Halpert’s worldwide
challenge for researchers to develop synthetic creativity will lead
not to the promised utopia, in which every kind of human suffering
has been eradicated, but rather to an apocalypse. Rebecca, whose best
friend is her own companion bot Madeline, writes Liam off as a
bot-hating conspiracy theorist, just like her father was… until she
learns that her father’s death might not have been due to mere
With Liam’s help, Rebecca learns of an underground organization known as
The Renegades, where Quentin Cordeaux was considered a legend. While
Liam attempts to stop Halpert’s challenge if he can, Rebecca tries
to unravel the mystery of what happened to her father. Did he and
many of his contemporaries die for something they knew? Who is the
mysterious informant who calls himself John Doe, and only seems to
want to drive her out of harm’s way? And if Halpert’s challenge
is answered, will it usher in a brave new chapter in humanity’s
history… or were Quentin Cordeaux’s dire predictions right all along?
Rebecca Cordeaux’s entire world has been turned upside down. In a single
day, she’s learned that Senate Leader Halpert and his Board of
Advisors are actually illegal humanoid robots created underground
twenty years ago—and they tried to have her killed. Her mother
Karen, whom she always believed to be passionately against the cause
of the Renegades, turns out to be their leader. And Liam, a man she
never thought she cared for, is now fighting for his life—and she
finds that she cares desperately.
Fortunately Karen, known to the Renegades as M, has planned for exactly
this sort of eventuality. Using Rebecca’s father’s blueprints, Karen
patiently built an underground compound in an abandoned part of the
Americas where they can regroup and plan for the coming war. The
compound becomes an unlikely oasis as their number grows, both on
accident and on purpose. In attempting to recover her best friend and
companion bot Madeline, Rebecca gets what she thought she’d always
wanted: Andy arrives at the compound too, along with her friends Jake
and Julie. But with the sudden addition of an old flame from Liam’s
past, Rebecca discovers just how little acquainted she has been with
her own heart.
Meanwhile, the Silver Six are running a worldwide campaign of indoctrination
to ensure that the people are on their side. In the name of peace, they
want nothing more than to wipe out every shred of resistance, while
pursuing their ultimate goal of robotic superintelligence. With the
assistance of a neuroscientist who helped to build the Silver Six
decades ago, Rebecca attempts to understand how synthetic minds work,
hoping this information can be used against them. She’s sure that
the mysterious, brilliant, and beautiful Alessandra Russo is the key
somehow, but Alex’s hatred for the Silver Six is only matched by
her hatred for the Renegades. Can the Renegades find and exploit the
weakness of the Silver Six before synthetic intelligence passes the
point of no return?
The Silver Six have blown the Renegades’ underground compound to bits,
killing several of Rebecca’s best friends in the process—and to
her horror, the boy Rebecca had convinced herself she loved for all
these years was the one to betray them all. At the same time, General
Specs, the company Liam was once slated to inherit, has developed a
superintelligent robot called Jaguar which is quickly becoming
godlike in her omniscience. As the remaining Renegades flee to their
last bastion of safety in the Caribbean, Liam makes his way back to
London, in a last ditch effort to convince his father to destroy
Jaguar before it’s too late.
Rebecca, meanwhile, finally understands her own heart: she never loved Andy.
He was merely a ‘safe’ choice who would never require anything of
her. Liam, on the other hand, exasperating as he was, had seen past
her defenses. All of his teasing and provoking had been his attempt
to get her to be real with him—but the more he made her feel, the
further she had retreated. She had even substituted her companion bot
Madeline for real, deep human friendships, and for the same reason:
she’d been avoiding love to protect herself from another loss like
the one she had experienced when her father was killed for the
Renegades’ cause. Ironically, she only realizes this once Liam is
on his way to a similar fate. But she’ll be damned if she lets him
go without a fight.
This high stakes conclusion to the Uncanny Valley Trilogy envisions a
world not too far off from our own, in which superintelligence is a
reality, humanoid bots have supplanted human power and influence, and
there are eyes watching and reporting our every move. If humanity is
to survive, the Renegades will have to galvanize support across the
globe, under the radar—and it will require every last bit of
ingenuity they possess. But is attempting to outwit a
superintelligent being really the answer? Or will it require
something much more fundamentally human?
When did you first realize
you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school… although back then all my main characters were cats (go figure). I’ve got about 12 shelves’ worth of journals throughout my life, and havealways felt that words are incredibly powerful. I minored in Creative Writing in college. I guess I always knew I’d end up writing eventually.
What genre are your books, and what made you write in that genre?
YA Fantasy/Sci fi. I write YA because I still think of myself as just out of college… and also because I don’t like to write a lot of gratuitous sex, language, etc which is considered typical of older adult fiction these days.
When did you write your first book and were you?
As mentioned before —I’ve been writing since elementary school. I think my first full-length novel was probably 6th grade?No idea where it is now.
Where do you get your ideas for your
The germ of the idea comes from other stories I love, always. The rest comes from very intentional brainstorming sessions, usually over a period of days or weeks…they definitely don’t fall into my head complete.
Where are your books set? Why?
Piercing the Veil is set in Norwich,England, because that’s where I studied abroad when I was a junior in college.That experience changed my life, and in many ways I left my heart there. Of course much of it is also set in Carlion, the fantasy world of the former Camelot, too. That was more incidental: they’re British and Arthur is a story everyone is familiar with, so it was easy to borrow!
The Liberty Box trilogy isset in what used to be the United States of America, but in a future where the U.S. has fallen. I chose that because I was fascinated by dystopian stories,but I wanted it to feel a little closer to home than if I’d set it in afictionalized universe… and I also wanted to briefly touch on the economics ofhow and why the U.S. collapsed in the first place. I like to take theopportunity to educate the reader here and there when possible, if it doesn’ttake away from the story… physics in Piercing the Veil, and a little economics in The Liberty Box.
The Uncanny Valley trilogy starts in Dublin… we went to Ireland and I thought I was going to set the whole series there and make it a tax write-off. So I took all kinds of notes, and intended it to be this sweet coming-of-age story… but then I thought that was too boring. So I threw in superintelligent A.I. And then this big conspiracy theory. And then they had to leave Dublin because they wer efleeing for their lives… so, yeah. Oh well.
C.A. Gray is the author of three YA Amazon bestselling trilogies:
PIERCING THE VEIL (magic and quantum physics meet Arthurian legends),
THE LIBERTY BOX (dystopian metaphysics and mind control technology),
and UNCANNY VALLEY (dystopian coming-of-age with neuroscience and
super intelligent A.I). She starts with some scientific concept that
she’s interested in learning more about herself, and then creates
lots of epic chaos and high-stakes action to go along with it. Her
stories are free of gratuitous violence, language, and sexual
content, and she abhors depressing endings… but they’re not all
kittens and rainbows either! She also listens to and reviews
audiobooks on her website, here on Goodreads, on Instagram, and on
her podcast, Clean Audiobook Reviews, where she also
occasionally interviews other authors.
By day, C.A. Gray practices naturopathic medicine, podcasts, and writes
medical non-fiction under her maiden name (Dr. Lauren Deville). She
lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband Frank, and together they
maintain an occasionally contentious film review blog (under her real
name: Lauren Baden. Three names. Yes.) She’s kind of the queen of
multitasking—so in her spare time, she creates whatever meals or
crafts she found most recently on Pinterest, drinks lots of coffee
(Aeropress btw) and occasional wine (reds—and she saves the corks
for craft projects), works out (while listening to audiobooks), and
studies the Bible—about half of the podcasts on Christian Natural
Health are scripture meditations.