Charlotte Pudding, computer psychologist and recent orphan, is not precisely thrilled with her lot in life (and not just because of the ‘orphan’ bit). Nevertheless, having her routine disrupted by a shadowy corporation, a man who claims to be a retired god, and the secrets of her own family history isn’t a walk in the park, either.
Charlotte’s quest for answers will lead her on a perilous journey into a religion based on Quantum Physics, a hunt for unexpectedly rare plant oil, and a fight to the shame against a black-belt in sarcasm. In a world that runs on peace and harmony, Charlotte is going to discover just how far some people are prepared to go to maintain tranquillity.
Engines of Empathy is also available from select bookstores within New Zealand:
Paper Plus Newmarket
University Bookshop Otago
Bruce McKenzie Booksellers
Praise for Engines of Empathy
“A hint of Adams, a dollop of Pratchett, all delivered with a mischievous smile for an intriguing tale that is great fun … A wonderfully humorous tale that keeps you smiling and intrigued to the very end.”
“Ever wondered what life would be like if all our machines were powered not by electricity or petrol, but by emotions? Neither had I. But now, thanks to Paul Mannering, I can’t stop wondering. Clever, satirical and more than a little weird, Engines of Empathy introduces one of the strangest worlds I’ve encountered in New Zealand fiction – a world that, much like our own, is haunted by the moral consequences of an energy-intensive industrial revolution. From sulking toasters, depressed computers and a passive aggressive fridge to quantum religions and corporate conspiracies, Engines of Empathy is a crazy ride.”
“Engines of Empathy is charming, clever, funny, and a rollicking good read. Charlotte Pudding is a heroine sensible and capable enough to tackle an abundance of eccentric characters, shady conspiracies, neurotic machines, attack-sarcasm, and a religion based on quantum mechanics. If Douglas Adams had been forced to undergo relationship counselling with his toaster, this is the book that would have resulted.”
—Debbie Cowens, author of Mansfield with Monsters
“This would have to be one of the freshest and most entertaining books that I have read this year … Madcap entertainment at its best. Highly recommended for a quick read that will hook you from the get-go and keep you racing for the climax, with surprises at every turn.”
—Angela Oliver, Booksellers NZ
Wellington-based Paul Mannering’s voracious reading and writing habit began at age 8 after his family’s black and white TV set blew up during the opening credits of an episode of Space 1999.
This personal trauma and some odd reading material (Forensic medicine textbooks and years of Reader’s Digest) has shaped much of his writing since.
Engines of Empathy will be Paul’s fourth book, following The Man Who Could Not Climb Stairs and Other Strange Stories (2011), Tankbread (Permuted Press 2013) and Tankbread 2: Immortal (Permuted Press, 2013).