Veronica: Today I have my friend Cara Bristol on the blog with an interview – Sparky the dog from Spark of Attraction, her excellent story in the PETS IN SPACE anthology!
Cara Bristol: Today, I’m interviewing Sparky, the pet dog of Miranda Lowell, the heroine of Spark of Attraction. Welcome, Sparky!
Sparky: You do know dogs can’t talk, don’t you?
Cara Bristol: I know. But for the sake of the interview, let’s pretend you can, okay?
Cara Bristol: I’ll that as a yes. Can you tell readers something about yourself?
Sparky: To begin with, I’m not a “real” dog, although most people think I am. Even the captain of the Crimson Hawk thought I real—until I bit him with my electrically charged teeth. I’m a K9-500 robot, an artificial intelligence companion model. I’ve been programmed to protect Miranda no matter what.
Cara Bristol: You bit the captain?!
Sparky: He made a sudden move toward Miranda. My programming kicked in, and I bit him.
Cara Bristol: Then what happened?
Sparky: He ordered her to keep me deactivated for the duration of the voyage, but she disobeyed and turned me on again.
Cara Bristol: And?
Sparky: There was another incident. I can’t help it. Something strange is happening aboard the Crimson Hawk that keeps triggering my programming. I’m really nice doggie most of the time…
If you owned a robot dog, what behaviors or traits would you want it to have?
Spark of Attraction blurb
Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased.
After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.
An excerpt from Spark of Attraction, Pets in Space
“Sparky, no!” Miranda grabbed her robotic dog and tried to pull him off the captain. This was awful. Stone would airlock him for sure. “Release, Sparky, release!” she cried, but the companion-model robot hung on. “Let go!”
The captain bent, and gripping the dog’s upper and lower jaws, began to pry its mouth open with his bare hands.
“Don’t hurt Sparky!” He was all she had left, and the captain could break him, dislocate his jaw.
“Hurt him?” He peered up at her. “Might I remind you its teeth are imbedded in my leg?”
She reached under the collar for the power switch on the dog’s nape. He jerked, released the captain’s ankle, and fell over. Still. Silent. “I’m so sorry,” she apologized, wringing her hands. “He’s programmed to protect me, and he perceived you as a threat.” Maybe if she’d explained at the start her dog was a canine artificial intelligence model, all of this could have been avoided—but at the captain’s edict, she had panicked.
She scooped him up and clutched him protectively to her chest, stroking his soft synthetic fur. He looked and acted so lifelike, sometimes she forgot he was a robot. They’d have to eject her from the ship before she’d allow them to remove him. If they put him on a pod, how could she be sure she’d get him back?
He hadn’t been bothering anything.
Well, not until he bit the captain.
If Stone’s eyes had been cold before, they were positively flinty now. She’d never seen such a dark scowl.
Blood stained his pants leg, and he pulled it up to reveal a lacerated ankle. For all its small size, the K9-500 had a jaw like a vise and sharp metal teeth. If the bot had attacked a human, the damage could have been severe. Rumor had it Dante Stone was a cyborg, a computer-enhanced human with biomimetic parts. She’d heard cyborgs were immune to pain and practically indestructible.
“I’m sorry,” she repeated. “It doesn’t hurt much, though, right?”
“Of course, it hurts!” he snapped. “Why would you think it doesn’t?”
“Don’t you have those nano thingees?”
Her fellow colonists were staring, watching the interchange, waiting to see what would happen. Would the captain toss her into the brig? Airlock poor Sparky?
You can find Cara at:
Cara Bristol’s website: https://carabristol.com
Cara Bristol’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/9aRJj
Cara Bristol on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cara.bristol.3
Cara Bristol’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cara-Bristol/e/B004D8KZTQ/
The blurb for Pets In Space:
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.