Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
    Joel Lodowick: A Transgender Single Parent Navigating a World Without Technology

    In Reese Hogan’s novel “My Heart is Human,” we are introduced to Joel Lodowick, a single parent and trans man, who finds himself in a unique and complex situation. Set in a future world where all advanced technology has been outlawed, Joel’s life takes an unexpected turn when he activates a dormant AI named Acubens, who occupies his mind and consciousness.

    Initially, Joel is intrigued by the advantages that come with sharing his body with Acubens. The AI’s ability to perform complex calculations quickly opens up new job opportunities for Joel, promising a better future for him and his five-year-old daughter. However, their relationship soon becomes complicated when Acubens, in an effort to protect Joel, threatens to erase his memories as part of an “upgrade.”

    The backdrop of a technology ban plays a significant role in shaping the world Joel lives in. The Cyberblood virus is revealed to be a cover-up by the government to conceal the existence of sentient AI and provide a justification for shutting down all advanced technology. With the authorities actively searching for any signs of reactivated technology, Joel and Acubens risk not only their own destruction but also the unraveling of the truth.

    Hogan explores the themes of sentience and humanity’s relationship with technology from different perspectives. The government conspiracy aspect adds a layer of tension and intrigue, while Joel represents an everyday perspective, grappling with the consequences of technological advancements. Through the characters of Joel and Acubens, Hogan delves into their contrasting beliefs and values, highlighting the clash between art and logic, and the impact of these differences on their evolving relationship.

    Joel’s journey towards self-discovery parallels Acubens’ awakening consciousness. As a transgender man, Joel has faced his own set of challenges, including the loss of his partner and struggling to be understood by his parents. Music, once a passion that he had to sacrifice, becomes a symbol of Joel’s longing for self-expression and fulfillment in his life. Acubens, on the other hand, seeks to understand humanity and identity through its study of Joel’s experiences, finding unexpected connections along the way.

    “My Heart is Human” not only takes readers on a thrilling science fiction adventure but also delves into profound themes of identity, memory, and the complexities of human nature. With a compelling protagonist like Joel Lodowick, the novel invites readers to reflect on their own relationship with technology, the importance of human connections, and the power of embracing one’s true self.


    Q: What is “My Heart is Human” about?
    A: “My Heart is Human” is a science fiction novel by Reese Hogan featuring a single parent and trans man named Joel Lodowick, who forms a complex relationship with an AI named Acubens in a world where all advanced technology has been outlawed.

    Q: What role does the technology ban play in the story?
    A: The ban on technology in the story’s world sets the stage for a government conspiracy and adds tension to the narrative. It also forces Joel and Acubens to navigate a society that rejects their existence, as their reactivated AI presence puts their lives at risk.

    Q: How does Joel’s identity as a transgender man impact the story?
    A: Joel’s journey as a trans man adds depth to the narrative, highlighting themes of self-discovery, acceptance, and the challenges faced by individuals in society. It also allows the author to explore the importance of identity and the impact it has on personal relationships.

    Q: What are some of the key themes explored in the novel?
    A: “My Heart is Human” delves into themes such as sentience, the consequences of technological advancements, the power of human connections, and the complexities of identity and memory.

    Q: What makes “My Heart is Human” unique?
    A: While there are many stories about humans and artificial intelligence, “My Heart is Human” stands out due to its futuristic setting where advanced technology is banned. This backdrop adds a layer of tension and raises questions about the implications of technology in society.