The Lifecycle of Software Objects, by Ted Chiang, is a novella centering around sophisticated virtual pets— "digital entities" ("digients") that are positioned as somewhere between pets and children.
The story follows the rise and fall of the startup that creates the digients, as well as some of the programmers and "owners", who become increasingly attached to them.
The storyline and the implications of the technology are well thought out, and you could see it unfolding the way it's described. But as a whole the story just seemed kind of empty. Nothing really happens to any of the story threads at the end, which I would be willing to forgive if the premise of the story were thought-provoking. But I felt like I had seen enough pieces of the plot before that I did not find the questions Chiang raises to be particularly interesting. Perhaps I am just AI jaded. Decent airplane reading but little more than that.