Author Archives: Stephen Oram

Strangers too strange to see

During my visit to the Bristol Robotics Lab I heard about the danger of human shaped robots because we naturally attribute them with human qualities they don’t have.

This got me thinking about artificial intelligence that’s embodied in non-human forms but still shows human type behaviour. After all, it’s coded by humans and learns how to behave from humans.

That was part of the inspiration behind The Mythical Moss.

Over the past few months, a film of me reading this story has been in the exhibition, Only Human: Believing the Strangest Things, Loving the Alien. The exhibition recently ended so I can now share the exhibit with you.

I hope you enjoy the story and it doesn’t cause you to spend too much time wondering about what might be lurking in the nooks and crannies of your life.


photo credit: dreaming_of_rivers Intimidation via photopin (license)

Science in Public 2017

This summer I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Science in Public 2017 conference as a panel member on Science and Science Fiction – the role of fiction in imagining the future, understanding public attitudes to technology, and engaging with scientific researchers.

I find it interesting to be at conferences that are for a specific set of people whose discipline is new to me; there’s so much that’s familiar about all conferences and yet there’s so much that’s new and different about each one.

The theme of this conference was: how do science and technology affect what it means to be human?

“Science and technology are essential ingredients of our humanity. The emergence of fruitful and diverse scholarly perspectives on the history, practice, communication, governance and impacts of scientific knowledge reflects this fact. Continue reading

The discussion…

After Paul Simon reviewed Fluence in the Morning Star we talked about how reviews could be more collaborative. In some ways I think Eating Robots and Other Stories lends itself to discussion more than a novel because the stories are short and in most cases deliberately written to provoke debate.

Paul starts his recent review of Eating Robots with “IN FEWER than 150 pages, Stephen Oram combines the sharp edginess of a JG Ballard with the vaulting inventiveness of a modernist Ovid.”  (full review

This post is dedicated to discussions about stories in Eating Robots; to start a new discussion post a comment and to join in a discussion already underway post a reply.

If you want some prompts, some provocations, to get started there’s some here.

Over to you…