"After the chaos, an android brings hope to a lonely girl"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted March 27, 2015
Romance Time Travel | Novella / Short Story
This is an inventive short story, full of science fiction,
time travel, androids and, er, romance with an android. Oh
well, when you run out of people, lab equipment will do,
was my first thought. Then I found that prior to being an
android, the being in question had been an attractive
bright lab assistant. This is complicated!
SHORT CIRCUIT TIME presents Zaphira, a cheeky, happy girl
who has a kid's crush on her dad's gangly lab helper.
has an Irish accent, which obviously helps, and he knows
the kid's too young for him but he likes her.
Forward to after the War, when a virus has wiped out all
but a handful of the population. Zaphira has survived, and
lives on what she can pick and preserve. She hasn't seen
another human in two years. Luckily her dog is unharmed
guards her from wolves. Then Aiden, or a robot calling
itself by his name, appears from nowhere. He is burned and
battered, a hunk of metal that has an expressionless face
and won't let her go. She'd thought Aiden was dead, but he
says her father changed him and sent him through time to
her. Can she believe him? Even if it's true, what use is a
metal man to a lonely young woman?
With stem cells and short circuits, molecular science and
wormholes, there's plenty to keep the SF fans happy while
the star-crossed lovers wonder if they can get it on, and
if so how. This is a surprisingly romantic and ultimately
sexy story, so Diane Saxon seems to have hit the right
note. SHORT CIRCUIT TIME is an entertaining and
determinedly cheerful dystopian, and if that's not a
contradiction in terms I don't know what is. More please!
In the year 2086, Zaphira is alone, the last survivor of
biological warfare on Earth. Before he died, her
father promised other survivors would come. Nobody has.
when a horribly mangled android shows up claiming to be
fatherâ€™s assistant, Aiden, who has been sent through time
rescue her, sheâ€™s both frightened and astounded.
The last time sheâ€™d seen Aiden, sheâ€™d been sixteen,
head-over-heels in love with him, and had literally
herself at him, leaving her devastated by his rejection
him running for the hills. The following day, sheâ€™d been
told of his death.
Eight years later heâ€™s miraculously back, this time
for her help. Without it, he wonâ€™t survive. But can she
really put a dead man back together with tweezers?
For Aiden, everything has changed. There are no other
humans, no government, and time travel has left his new
android body unexpectedly weak and suffering from
inexplicable genetic changes in eye and hair color,
about by his molecular shake-up. Unbelievably, the
who sent him is dead, and he must rely on the scientistâ€™s
daughter to help him. A woman who heâ€™s not so sure has
best interests at heart.
The last time heâ€™d seen her, Zaphira had been a sixteen
old with a dangerous crush on him and heâ€™d been rocked by
the turmoil of his own feelings. Now sheâ€™s twenty-four
literally holds his survival in her hands. Too bad
everything he does and says seems to annoy her.
Trusting her might be his undoing. But he is left with no
For Zaphira, getting used to the transformation of old
to android Aiden requires a large mental leap. But when
android Aiden starts to rebuild his human form to a new
improved standard, things start to get tricky.
The Aiden she loved as a little girl was her fatherâ€™s
assistant. The new Aiden is hot. But are her feelings as
strong eight years later or are they simply a cherished
ExcerptHis temperature lowered and he took a moment to thank God
he didnâ€™t have a physical penis, or she may just have
noticed how hard and erect it was. Womanhood certainly
sat comfortably on her now. Unfortunately, that
particular piece of his anatomy had been sacrificed on
the altar of time travel and the sexless piece of robotic
shielding heâ€™d been obliged to employ. Surprised, he
noticed it didnâ€™t seem to affect his sudden surge of
hormones as Zaphiraâ€™s soft breast brushed his metallic
cheek. Heated particles dashed to his groin region and he
couldnâ€™t tear his gaze from her lush cleavage.
Breathless, he sucked in, choked on an excess of air and
tried to cough unobtrusively.
â€śAre you all right?â€ť
Her beautiful face filled his vision, her soft doe eyes
melted his heart for a brief moment, before it gave a
hasty knock as the knowledge hit him like a sledgehammerâ€”
he had felt the stroke of her breast rather than imagined
it. His breath stuttered and trapped in his throat, if he
had skin it would be florid.
Zaphira leaned toward him, cradled his head in her arms,
pressed his cold lifeless cheek into her breast and he
sensed the zap of it, the zing. How the hell could it
happen? How could he feel?
Her gentle inquisitive fingers stroked his face, his
temple, his cheek. She lifted her hand from his metal
case and started the skim of her fingertips at his
forehead again. And again. With an almost imperceptible
turn of his head, he allowed his face to nuzzle into her
soft welcoming bosom, and rejoiced in the simple pleasure
of his communication impulses as they reconnected and
allowed the sensation of her silken skin pressed against
his face to radiate until he purred with unexpected
desire and reveled in the sheer humanity of her touch.
â€śYes.â€ť A breathless rush emerged from his lips.
â€śAre you okay?â€ť
â€śYes.â€ť He relaxed and luxuriated in the lap of water on
his body, experienced the brush of it as though it was
his skin it rippled over.
His tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth, he struggled
to swallow as he turned his face further into her,
smelled the earthy womanliness of her cleavage and
The last discernible sound was her horrified gasp before
he plunged to the depths of the frigid bath water. His
heavy metal head clunked on the bottom and the sound of
turbulent bubbles assaulted his ears as he gulped,
desperate for air. Lust had been washed away with a tidal
wave of water rushing through his armored plating and
filling his brain with slush. With no control over his
own limbs, even a wild thrash to indicate he was drowning
wasnâ€™t an option.
Bitter cold fluid filled his lungs as his mechanical
mouth failed to respond to the command to close, and
allowed the water to gush in and swamp him. His brain
refused to engage. Deprived of oxygen it had no ability
to give his sunken android body the instruction it
required to not drown the human within. A black cloud of
desperation engulfed him.
He stared, eyelids wedged wide open as Zaphira gazed back
at him through the blurred depths of the water. Her deep
brown eyes, hard and angry. She leaned forward and
wrenched his head and shoulders free of his watery grave.
â€śYou bloody pervert.â€ť
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