Simon Stephenson |  'I wanted to write something that had the feel and the scale of the movies that I grew up with'

Simon Stephenson | 'I wanted to write something that had the feel and the scale of the movies that I grew up with'

On the rainy, windswept day I am due to meet Simon Stephenson in London, the Guardian runs a comment piece which asks: “If a novel was good, would you care if it was created by Artificial Intelligence?” Stephenson’s terrific début novel is self-evidently not written by a robot, but it is narrated by one—Jared, a “bot” dentist from Michigan—and I doubt I’ll encounter a more endearing, more joy-provoking character this year. 

The year is 2054 and Jared is toiling cheerfully away at the mouths of humans. It is the perfect job for a bot as they have a complete inability to feel empathy, or ind...

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