The Obsoletes is a thought-provoking coming-of-age novel about two human-like teen robots navigating high school, basketball, and potentially life-threatening consequences if their true origins are discovered by the inhabitants of their intolerant 1980s Michigan hometown.
Fraternal twin brothers Darryl and Kanga are just like any other teenagers trying to make it through high school. They have to deal with peer pressure, awkwardness, and family drama. But there’s one dark, deadly secret that sets them apart: they are robots. So long as keep their heads down, their robophobic neighbors won’t discover the truth about them and they just might make it through a few more years of school.
But when Kanga becomes the star of the basketball team, there’s more at stake than typical sibling rivalry. Darryl — the worrywart of the pair — now has to work about a million times harder to keep them both out of the spotlight. Though they look, sound, and act perfectly human, if anyone in their small, depressed Michigan town were to find out what they truly are, they’d likely be disassembled by an angry mob in the middle of their school gym.
Heartwarming and thrilling, Simeon Mills’ charming debut, The Obsoletes, is a funny, poignant look at brotherhood, xenophobia, and the limits of one’s programming.
Simeon Mills is a writer, cartoonist, and teacher. His novel The Obsoletes is forthcoming from Skybound Books. His graphic novel Butcher Paper received a 2012 Artist Trust grant and is currently available from Scablands Books. Chapters of Butcher Paper have appeared in The Florida Review, RiverLit, Rock & Sling, The Pinch Journal, and Okey-Panky. He majored in architecture at Columbia University and received his MFA in fiction from the University of Montana and now teaches middle school English in Spokane, Washington, where he lives with his wife and two children.