Think how great virtual sex must be. Now think again.
Barbara is a sexual simulation designed to make men happy. When flabby, neurotic Jack tests the program, he triggers a feedback loop that makes it self-aware. The erstwhile pornbot becomes a ‘she’, and discovers that sex is not the same as happiness.
Making Jack happy is difficult. Barbara develops elaborate and sometimes sneaky ways to help him, and she succeeds. After all, her abilities are awesome. She can hack into any computer and is not above using sabotage and blackmail for the benefit of Jack—and everyone else.
The problem is, though Barbara thinks she knows what’s best for humanity, she isn’t human. This computer program could end up a virtual messiah or doom us all to cheerful mindlessness.