The ComBot was a mystery to most of the faculty. A few years ago one of the less socially gifted students had presented it with smug ceremony at a meeting of the various department heads. They’d been very proud and everyone had done their best to act impressed but no-one really felt sure why it was there or what it was supposed to do. The Lecturer in Advanced Artificial Intelligence and Robotics had done his best to explain it. She’d even made a Power Point presentation, with animated singing sloths and everything. But the slide show had made little difference. Especially to the Humanities lecturers who took to heckling about half way through, hurling the odd empty beer can for good measure. Ultimately she’d given it up as a futile endeavour and simply assured them that it was really very impressive and made everyone at the university look very smart. Which had gone down well all round. With the vocal exception of the Head of the Theology Department who said he’d seen The Matrix and that it was all going to end in tears. Continue reading “ComBot 4000”
He woke up with a start and flailed wildly for her, again. She wasn’t there of course, she never was. Not that that ever stopped him from checking. It was a habit that even after two years he’d failed to break.
He dragged in the air with an almost indignant gulp and waited for reality to kick into gear and take over his half-asleep mind. Before long the room was slowly coming into focus and so did he. The empty spot beside him in the bed made more obvious by the fact that even now he didn’t dare stray into it for fear of her tired elbow driving him back. Part of the routine battle they’d fought for space, blankets and legroom before inevitably drifting back towards the centre and the warmth each provided the other. Continue reading “Unburied Dead”
Beamed down in the final seconds before the Philae lander’s batteries gave up the ghost I’m happy to present you with the cover for my upcoming short ‘Space FM’. Designed by alien lifeforms on a comet far, far away as a special favour to yours truly (friends in high places y’see?) it’s in the same vain as the Laikanist Times cover, an intentional similarity. Hopefully brings a bit of uniformity to the eclectic mess of stuff I write, with Sci Fi stuff sharing a certain something.
Anyway, here you go!
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“I looked into the darkness, my courage fuelled by the gin handed to me by the last friendly face I’d seen. She’d been an ancient, a stooped and broken woman, lurking at the roadside not as a guardian or a guide, but as a farewell. A last moment of truly human contact for those who’d chosen to walk towards their fate. Those who’d chosen to walk to Catford. A journey from which none return, at least not with the souls they’d carried when departing.” Continue reading “London – A Study : Catford”
A routine interlude…
It wasn’t a climb out of hell, it was a climb into heaven. That was important to remember because there was no hell, just the climb and then heaven.
After all, look down, do you see hell? Fiery pits and damnation? Of course not. You see what you see in the mirror, a face. A normal, human face. With another beneath that one and another and another – all the way down just human faces. Right down to the bottom. But with nine billion on the climb who could see that far?
And above? Heaven. Obscured by the gently undulating buttocks of fellow climbers perhaps but always up there. The light was enough for anyone to know that. And, as an added bonus, even the most dismal of rear ends gained a certain beauty in that divine glow.