Cover art by Chun Yan Zhang and Ai Jiang. Title design by Alan Lastufka.

I AM AI: A Novelette

🏆 Bestseller
🥇 Award Finalist

Moving, brilliant, and certified 100% human.”
–Samit Basu, author of Turbulence

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Publication Date

June 20, 2023



Print Length

80 Pages (Paperback)


978-1-959565-09-3 (Paperback)
978-1-959565-10-9 (eBook)

About I AM AI

★ Finalist – Hugo Award for Best Novelette
★ Finalist – Nebula Award for Novelette – Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association
★ Finalist – Locus Award for Novelette
★ Shortlisted – Best Shorter Fiction – British Science Fiction Association

If you have the opportunity to give up humanity for efficiency, mechanical invincibility, and to surpass human limitations. . . would you?

Ai is a cyborg, under the guise of an AI writing program, who struggles to keep up with the never-blinking city of Emit as it threatens to leave all those like her behind.


It’s becoming difficult and dangerous to ignore my battery’s rapid run-down time. At 8%, my memory functions are diminishing far too quickly. I’ve forgotten to charge before leaving work—again.

For me, forgetting is a dangerous thing.

I hope the glitches don’t cause a sudden short-circuiting.

The notification for my postponed-for-half-a-year maintenance glares from the watch implanted into my wrist. I press snooze, my fingers trembling. I can’t afford the bi-monthly checkups, but I’ll need to replace my battery soon.

Replacing my brain for a system that works faster, that limits errors, and doesn’t cause memory gaps becomes more appealing with each passing day. AIs don’t have a fear of overworking, of needing sleep to prevent any fatigue.

My hands shake at the prospect of finally getting rid of the one thing outside of my brain that hinders my productivity. To think my emotions will soon become a muted thing, I can’t tell if I’m afraid or eager. But I’ll be able to work faster. Joy and pain won’t affect me in the same way.

None of my neighbours know I die with my battery rather than my heart. Most of them still believe I’m more human than robot—half metal and circuits. Being less human makes life easier. Technology is convenient; it’s more dependable as a life force, more predictable. Emotions, humanity, mortality; humans are such fragile things.


Moving, brilliant, and certified 100% human. Moments from now, this book will break, steal, and win your heart.”
–Samit Basu, author of Turbulence

“Ai Jiang is one of the most exciting new voices in the field, and I AM AI shows exactly why. This is an unsettling vision of the future of creativity. If it doesn’t bother you, then you need to check where your imagination went.”
–John Wiswell, author of the Nebula-winning “Open House on Haunted Hill”

“. . . a timely critique of the relationship between the human emotions underpinning the desire to create, and the increasing automation of the creative arts. Sharp, pointed, and prescient.”
–Isabel J. Kim, Shirley Jackson Award-winning author

“I AM AI is a brilliant tale of humanity in a heartless corporate dystopia, where friendship and found family offer some respite from ruthless capitalism and divisive commercialism. . . that embraces such diverse characters of colour and queerness. . . . an emotional journey simultaneously universal, and grounded in the Asian experience, down to the all-healing, magical power of soup.”
—Xueting C. Ni, author of Sinopticon: A Celebration of Chinese Science Fiction

I AM AI News
May 9, 2024
We are very excited to announce Ai Jiang‘s novelette, I AM AI, which we published last June, is a finalist for the Locus Award! This is the third major award…
March 29, 2024
We are very excited to announce Ai Jiang‘s novelette, I AM AI, which we published last June, is a finalist for the Hugo Award…
March 28, 2024
We sold our 10,000th book last night! Thank you to all our authors, readers, reviewers, and friends for your early support…
March 15, 2024
We are very excited to announce AI Jiang’s novelette, I AM AI, which we published last June, is a finalist for the Nebula Award…
October 4, 2023
On BookRiot’s list of “20 Must-Read Sci-Fi Novels About AI”, sandwiched between genre milestones I, Robot by Isaac Asimov and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the basis of the Blade Runner films) by Philip K Dick, is our very own I AM AI by Ai Jiang…
June 19, 2023
Horror DNA recently posted their review of Ai Jiang’s new novelette, I AM AI. They gave the book 4 out of 5 stars, saying…
June 1, 2023
For the release of Ai Jiang’s novelette, I AM AI, we have partnered with two bookstores for two exciting launch events…
May 3, 2023
Given the same prompt, who wrote it better? Ai Jiang or ChatGPT?
April 25, 2023
We’re excited to announce Shortwave founder Alan Lastufka will be included on the StokerCon Panel for Keeping the Artificial out of Art: AI, Bots, and ChatGPT…
April 24, 2023
We are excited to share that Ai Jiang’s forthcoming novelette, I AM AI, will be taught this semester at the University of Washington…
February 22, 2023
Today we are revealing the cover for Ai Jiang’s sci-fi novelette, I AM AI… “Moving, brilliant, and certified 100% human.” –Samit Basu, author of Turbulence
About the Author

Ai Jiang is a Chinese-Canadian writer, Ignyte Award winner, Nebula and Locus Award finalist, and an immigrant from Fujian currently residing in Toronto, Ontario. She is a member of HWA and SFWA. Her work can be found in F&SF, The Dark, Uncanny, among others. She is the recipient of Odyssey Workshop’s 2022 Fresh Voices Scholarship and the author of Linghun and I AM AI.

Other Titles by Ai Jiang
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An Anthology of Dark Academia
Edited by Ai Jiang and Christi Nogle
🏆 Bestseller
🥇 Award Finalist
A Dark Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Anthology