Pathos, comedy, satire (there is no moon in Jared’s time since Elon Musk blew it up), a car-chase, The Great American Zero Sum game, daftness, a nefarious nemesis, what it means to be human (memory? emotion? reason? always making the wrong decisions?), a ghost section, parodies, anger, and a shining sense of the novel being ultimately a machine that makes humans a little more human if possible. It is probably too ebullient to be taken seriously for prizes.
One particular bot, our narrator Jared, embarks on a mission to change humans’ negative view of bots, after he breaks the rules of science and develops feelings. It’s a bizarre premise told yet more bizarrely — Jared has a distinctive yet often grating narrative voice. Luckily the plot is gripping and, if you can wade through the terrible bot jokes, there are some genuinely funny lines, such as when Jared makes fun of the human love of “diverting spectacles with an obviously phallic component” (aka skyscrapers and hot-dog-eating contests).