tmd300xThe Machine Doctor

Peter Burnett

Shortlisted for Scottish Book of the Year, 2001

The Machine Doctor was my first novel - described in the blurb as humorous and satirical. I can here confirm that it is both.  Set in present day Aberdeen, The Machine Doctor tells how the silicon chip developed from the standing stones, and how idiocy and dining out became the norm for the mobile phone waving populace of Scotland.

As a child, gifted mathematician Vivien designed labour-saving domestic robots to please her father. Now she has developed a Computer Network at the behest of a local technology firm and the Aberdeen City Council. She also works on the Network Helpdesk, a member of the boom call centre industry, spokesperson for an unskilled and uncaring workforce.  A call centre chicken.

From the Back Cover:

Democracy in action thought the Council: give everyone a free computer. Link them up. Let the lying begin.
Viven, who works by day as a battery hen, is employed to keep the network free of viruses. But secretly she collects them.  And they aren't happy in their cage.
The most advanced city council in the world meets on-line. Some are wearing no pants. This is Aberdeen. The Stone Age is now.

"WHEN was the last time you read a Scottish novel, about Scotland, that was serious, politically engaged, and, most importantly, made you laugh? Chances are, a fair wee bit ago. Over the last 20 years, there has been a slough of self-disgust novels about Scotland. Thank goodness, therefore for Peter Burnett's book."
Stuart Kelly
". . . an exhilarating and anarchic comedy shot through with a withering social commentary"
Scotland on Sunday

". . . a superbly written book, a fast-paced novel of roller-coaster proportions. Burnett is a brilliant new talent"
The Journal
". . . an ambitious, multi-voiced satire on the soul-destroying mind-numbing effects of computers in the 21st century. . . fast-paced, insightful and frequently hilarious"
The List

". . . satire as sharp as a sponge"
Sunday Herald