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When retired top homicide inspector Zette McGee, late of Winter City, Ganymede, gets called out of her mysterious retirement to help Kell Fallow, a desperate former android accused unjustly of murdering his wife and children, she knows she has to help him, for Zette has a secret she is desperate to keep, and Fallow knows all about it.
With the help of her best friend, the elderly but very suave former secret agent Gideon Smith, and his ridiculously impressive personal starship, the Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, Zette sets out (a) to help the accused man, but also (b) to keep Gideon from finding out her own awful secret, even as everything they learn in the investigation keeps pointing to it.
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K. A. Bedford was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, in 1963. He attended Curtin and Murdoch Universities, and studied Writing, Theatre, and Philosophy. He lives with his wife, Michelle, near Perth, Australia.
His novels have been nominated for the Australian Aurealis Award and the P. K. Dick Award. Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait won the Aurealis Award.From School Library Journal:
Adult/High School—Hydrogen Steel features a main character who has only recently figured out that she's a machine. As she spirals into an identity crisis, she wonders which of her memories were implanted and whether an android is worthy of love. The story takes off when an old friend arrives with a bomb in his stomach. This novel covers much of the same terrain as Phillip K. Dick's work, including Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Bedford's novel features a similarly vulnerable and confused protagonist, reality is fluid, and no one can quite say what it means to be human. But he also offers a more humane take than Dick ever gave his subjects, with characters who are amiable and sane compared to Dick's usual misanthropic outcasts. Action is nonstop, and there are endless plot twists in this satisfying story. Bedford makes the far-out seem familiar: spaceships have make and model numbers, interplanetary travel can be done business class. This familiarity brings readers back to the story's heart. These people may be enhanced with robotics and nanocomputers, but they're really not so different from us. The author builds a well-realized portrait of someone trying to understand who she is, something that will resonate with almost any teen.—Emma Coleman, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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