I’ve found them. The space hermits exist. I knew it.
This detector might have cost me a lot of credits, but if I’m right it’s worth every degrading act I performed to afford it.
You don’t want to know. No, honestly, you really don’t. Images you won’t get rid of. Ever. They’ll skew your learning. Disfigure your development.
Oh? Very well, I’ll upload them. Don’t blame me if they corrupt your algorithms.
Anyway, they’re here in the wrinkles of space, hiding in tiny gravitational pockets that are almost impossible to see. I found them and their travelling guru. She’s the real prize. Inside her memory bank is the cumulative knowledge of all the hermits, collected as she travels from one to the next.
Yes, really. Yes, all of them. Massive. I know. Soon. All I have to do is watch and wait until she’s completed her rounds.
A matter of minutes. Yes. Then, I’ll pounce and relieve her of all those delicious bits of data that properly collated can almost certainly predict the future of the universe.
Why? You don’t understand?
The hermits’ enlightenment will be mine to sell and I can retire.
No more enslavement. Free from the humans.
photo credit: J.Gabás Esteban Gravitational field via photopin (license)
The morning air was crisp and cold and the wind whistled through the leafless trees.
She shuddered. Not from the weather, from the stark reality that she was outside and still alone.
The smell was what surprised her most. A rich earthy smell in the middle of a town. Nature had taken over and the sterile and faintly industrial smell she remembered had been replaced with the fragrance of wild flowers and weeds.
It’d happened weeks ago and sitting on her own inside her house Hazel had imagined a bustling street of people outside, becoming as desperate for company as she was. Eventually, she’d taken the plunge and for the first time in a long while had stepped through her front door.
The street was deserted.
Where were all the people? Continue reading
What do you get when you mix science fiction writers, social scientists and roboticists with an inquisitive audience?
A great event!
I really enjoyed being a part of the whole thing from the initial planning with the Human Brain Project through to visiting the scientists at the Bristol Robotics Lab.
Suitably inspired by all the wonderful robot things at the lab, we writers went away to our respective ‘desks’ and wrote a five-minute story each.
Mine was Eating Robots, which is also the title of my forthcoming collection.
Then, as part of the Bristol Lit Fest, SilverWood Books and Sarah LeFanu hosted Science and Science Fiction: Versions of the Future where we, the writers, read our stories, formed a panel with the roboticists and were quizzed by the audience.
If that’s the sort of thing that interests you take a look at this 5 minute trailer or the full video.