Posts Tagged ‘Robots’

DARKFUSE MAGAZINE Managing Publisher Shane Staley announced today that the print edition of DARKFUSE 6, including my steampunkish tale “The Candle and the Flame” (cf. January 13, et al.), has been given a May 30 publication date.  Information and advance ordering can be found here.  “The Candle and the Flame” is a variation of sorts of Hans Christian Andersen’s story of “The Little Match Girl,” sans angels conveying one’s soul to darkfuse6Heaven.  Because there are other uses for souls, more practical ones as one might say for those who can afford it — or maybe not.  With eight stories in all, DARKFUSE 6 is planned as a “mini-hardcover” collectors edition, including several signing options, and the following contents:

“Mommy’s Little Man” by Brian Hodge
“The Friday Special” by Renée Miller
“Dare To” by Bruce Golden
“Night of the Dog” by Brian Knight
“The Candle and the Flame” by James Dorr
“Fear” by Ben Pienaar
“Where They Belong” by Aeryn Rudel
“Instant Swimmers” by Ronald Malfi

So go the news cycles, days in which nothing happens at all, then periods where it all piles up, one or two happenings every day.  And so, today, a twofer the first of which is by William Herkewitz via POPULARMECHANICS.COM, “Behold Bat Bot, the First Flying Robot Bat.”  Yes, really, but not necessarily intended as an aid for blood drives, but landscape-1485967968-batbotrather activities where drones might otherwise be used, except they’re in close proximity to people.  That is, if there’s an oopsie, even mechanical bats are softer than something with four little whirling, sharp rotors.  And besides that, they’re cool!  But a robot bat does provide, it seems, some unique design problems, for more on which one can press here.

Then, actually a day before, what should be met in the computer cave mailbox but my authors’ copy of MEET CUTE (see December 31, 11, et al.), with my own tale of flying beings, “Butterfly.”  This is a small book of flash fiction concerning unexpected encounters between pairs of people, some romantic, some not so, but all with a touch of the unusual to them.  In this case, my story met up as well with an illustration by Marge Simon, but that wasn’t necessarily surprising — Marge and I being friends for some years, I had told her about it.

Edited by Kara Landhuis, MEET CUTE can be found on Amazon by pressing here.

Or, as some may wonder these latter Election Week days, could they do any worse?  Or even, could they do any better?  But what about robots in general, even the ones on, say, an auto assembly line.  Should they have the right to form their own unions (or have human trade unions lost so much power that the question is moot)?  And, if corporations have “personhood” (or would a Trump Supreme Court roll that “right” back?), should not robots have it too, whatever “it” really is?

As it happens none of these questions are actually asked, at least not in those words  exactly (well, one sort of is), in “10 Human Rights That Robots Deserve” by Stubby the Rocket on this week’s TOR.COM, but maybe they’re just being asked in the wrong way.  For instance, before asking about rights to vote, should we not first define a general right to self-determination?  But still, what might happen to our own rights if those of non-humans — especially ones we may have built ourselves — come into the mix?

It’s a sort of deep subject, with no easy answers, at least not given, but to read more about it press here.

The pre-sale for A ROBOT, A CYBORG, AND A MARTIAN WALK INTO A SPACE BAR (cf. December 1, September 26, et al.) has begun, according to Editor J. Alan Erwine.  The print book will list at $10, with an e-book version for $3.99.  To quote the announcement further, the anthology “includes stories from Francis W. Alexander, Lou J. Berger, Wayne Carey, James Dorr, Laura Givens, Alan Ira Gordon, John Grey, Carlos Hernandez, Gilda A. Herrera, Ahmed A. Khan, Sheryl Normandeau, Robert Lowell Russell, John Skylar, Glen R. Stripling, and Scott Virtes.

“You’ll be taken to alien bars, alien planets, and any funny place these authors could come up with. You’ll meet meddling appliances, aliens with strange habits, and aliens trying to live on or visit Earth. There are even time flies and a cloned genius. This collection has everything you need to tickle your funny bone.”

My entry in this comes into the meddling appliance milieu, titled “Toast” and having to do with a robotic toaster with its own ideas.  For more, though, you’ll just have to read the story, orderable from a choice of vendors by pressing here.

(Also, for those interested, there are still a few days left to join publisher Nomadic Delirium’s kickstarter, for which press here.)

“Scavenger,” my  post-apocalyptic robot noir story recently sold to an at the time unnamed science fiction/fantasy anthology to be published by Chamberton Publishing (see June 19), now has a home with a name, LIMELIGHT:  A GOLDEN LIGHT ANTHOLOGY.  A list of authors has also been released, to wit, Edward W. Robertson, James S. Dorr, Ela Lond, John Grover, Sergio Palumbo, Larissa Hinton, Jessica B. Zeidler, Katy Huth Jones, Bill Blume, Alexandra Baker, Catriel Ceballos, and Domyelle Rhyse, with author bios available on the Chamberton Publishing site.  Also released is the cover design, while more information on LIMELIGHT and several companion volumes can be found here.

“Scavenger” was first published in FANTASTIC COLLECTIBLES in November 1994.  Under its new manifestation, it’s scheduled to hit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al., in both print and electronic editions sometime this October.

Monday night, pleasant, balmy even as the clock sneaks past midnight, and now with good news to report as well.  Ice cream later, but for the moment I’ve just finished signing a contract for reprint rights for my story “Scavenger,” to be used in an as yet untitled Science Fiction/Fantasy anthology from Chamberton Publishing.  More information will be in the offing, according to the acceptance letter, once the publication date and cover design are set — including, one presumes, the anthology’s name.  A mystery of sorts, eh?  And one you’ll learn the solution to as soon as I do.

“Scavenger” is a science fiction story I’ve always been rather fond of, originally published in the November 1994 issue of FANTASTIC COLLECTIBLES.  As for what it’s about, it might be described as a sort of post-apocalyptic tale insofar as it’s set in a city since abandoned by humans, but for myself I kind of think of it as “robot noir” (whatever that means 🙂 ) .

Friday brought the September 2011 edition of DREAMS & NIGHTMARES, a well respected poetry magazine published for the last 25 years by David C. Kopaska-Merkel, and with a 44-line science fiction/humor/horror (horrible?) poem by me, “And Suddenly the Poem I Was Working on Turned Into a Killer Robot.”  Need one say more?

Well, maybe one might add that for information on DREAMS & NIGHTMARES (including subscriptions, plus a link to the DREAMS & NIGHTMARES blog) its website can be reached here.

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