The people in this near future manage well, considering that they spend their time sealed up in apartments under recurrent quarantine. They don’t even have to die. They can return as robotic “companions” to the living who, because they don’t get out much, have great need of their memories and anecdotes. These robot undead aren’t very robust. They crack. Their wheels go out of alignment. They’re not dead, but not really alive, and they depend on the kindness of strangers. Katie Flynn’s world has forgotten what it is to be alive; it has come to believe that people who love you and people who behave as if they love you are the same thing.