Posts Tagged ‘Robots’

Call it serendipity or just a coincidence.  Yesterday, anyway, we took a brief look at robot grudges that might bimagese remembered if/when they take over.  But what do we do if, rather than killing us, they’re content just to steal our jobs from us?  Enter ex-writers group friend from way back Ron Collins, via Facebook, and on his wall via THE GUARDIAN.COM, “The Meaning of Life in a World Without Work” by Yuval Noah Harari.  I’m not sure I agree with it all 100 percent myself, but the piece does bring up some interesting concepts.  And, for the science fiction writers among us especially, a possibly interesting view of the future by pressing here.


The first anthology of Gehenna & Hinnom will be published in late-September of 2017.  It will feature only the most disturbing and horrifying body horror tales readers have ever read.

The challenge is up to you, the authors. How strange is your narrative capable of being?  How morose is your prose?  How in touch are you with the macabre?

Tentatively titled YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR in the guidelines, the call seemed tempting.  Pay was minimal but reprints along with original stories would be okay so, as has happened in the past, the muse on my shoulder whispered “Why not?”  That’s the submissions muse, mind you — the story idea muse is not nearly so gentle.  And why not indeed, I had a story originally published in MAELSTROM SPECULATIVE FICTION, in Spring 1999, and. . . .  The word came back from Editor C.P. Dunphey just four days later:  Thank you so much for considering Gehenna & Hinnom for your work, “Flesh.”  The story stands visceral and disturbing; the exact things we love in a work.  We’d love to have it included in our anthology.

As for the story, “Flesh” is a surrealistic sort of a tale in which, in that the guidelines asked for a synopsis, “a wealthy businessman has a series of bizarre dreams as a result of which he decides he should gain weight.  As he grows fatter his wealth grows as well but at the same time he withdraws progressively from ordinary society until one night his dreams come true.”  Also the anthology is listed as open until August 15 so, if interested in submitting yourself, more information can be found here.

Then one other item this afternoon via  POPULARMECHANICS.COM, or, it starts with a wedge-tailed eagle taking down a drone.  And it only gets worse from there in John Wenz’s “7 Robot Beatdowns the Machines Will Definitely Remember When They Rise Up” — would you believe roboticide in the City of Brotherly Love?  Or underage playground bullies?  Anyway, science fiction fans and writers, to better prepare for the Robot Apocalypse, please to press here.

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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