By Donna Campbell Smith
RJ (Bob) McCarthy has just released the second novel in his science fiction series: The Matchmaker: A Fairy Tale for a Technological Age. In a departure from his crime fiction stories, his new release is a modern reimagining of the timeless enchantment of love.
In The Matchmaker: A Fairy Tale for a Technological Age, the matchmaker is Drexel, a drone equipped not only with sensors and cameras, but an artificial intelligence (AI) unit as well. Through an accelerating AI learning curve, Drexel senses emotional profile similarities between two lonely adults, Drexel’s inventor, Tony Tiernan, an Irish American IT engineer, and Efi Itaki, a Greek American accountant.
At forty, Efi’s independence is constantly tested by the cloying pull of her judgmental parents to their family restaurant. An early divorce left her chary of commitment despite the loneliness she lives with. Her friendship with Eleni Xidos, cynical toward men, hardly helps matters. The fiftyish Tiernan’s existence is framed by his exploratory work with drones. Yet for all the satisfaction he derives from his creative outlet, the lack of meaningful female companionship leaves a hole in his life.
The catalyst in their struggles to find and trust in loving companionship is Drexel. It’s the drone that strives to see them through the tests life throws at them, none more than the challenge posed by a modern ogre, the neighborhood bully, Rollie Dineen, who attempts to destroy Drexel. In the end, will the couple, particularly Efi with her trust issues, be able to weather the inevitable tests or will they succumb to the idea the effort is not worth the risk?
McCarthy, formerly of Henderson, North Carolina, and a member of Franklin County Arts Council, now lives and writes from his home in Norfolk, Virginia where he lives with his wife Susan. McCarthy credits his wife for the story idea for The Matchmaker.
He says, “This story, The Matchmaker, sprang from an observation made by the love of my life, my wife, Susan. Ironically, neither of us can remember specifically what it was. I recall only that she said something that triggered the idea for this story, and I jumped on it. Isn’t that how it so often happens? Love was the substrate for the story, serendipity the catalyst.”
See more about The Matchmaker: A Fairy Tale for a Technological Age on Amazon.com.
Raised in New York, RJ McCarthy has lived in the South for sixty years. He received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and worked as a Clinical Psychologist before retiring in 2006 to write full-time. Prior to his retirement, he pursued an unofficial apprenticeship, writing in the niches between family and work demands for almost forty years.
McCarthy has self-published eight novels and several of his short stories have been published in literary journals and won awards. Visit his website at www.rjmccarthyauthor.com for more information. All of his books are available on Amazon.com.