My story “The Marsh of Camarina” will appear in a future issue of Lightspeed Magazine. “The Marsh of Camarina” concerns a young woman graduating at near the top of her class in computer science, only to find that AI and automation have replaced most programming jobs. With a huge debt and no prospects, her career advisor suggests Askuwhetau, an experimental farming commune in northern Canada. The story was originally published in the anthology Shades Within Us: Tales of Migrations and Fractured Borders.
The dog was in the alley again, sniffing around the empty trash bins for scraps she wasn’t going to find. Martha would be late for work if she fed her again, but she couldn’t bear to let the animal suffer. The mutt huddled behind the bar-coded trash bins as Martha put out a dish of microwave rice and a bowl of water. She’d have to remember to pick up some real dog food on the way home.
“Come on, girl,” Martha said, wiping her brow. It was already ninety-eight degrees and getting hotter. “This is for you.”
The mutt, a scrawny little thing, hesitated. God only knew what troubles she had been through.
Something skittered behind her—a rat—and they both jumped. And when she turned back around, the dog was gone.
“You’d better come eat this,” she said to the empty alley, “before the rats do.”
You can read the whole thing here, or you can listen to a podcast narrated by the fabulous Kate Baker here.
I’m very happy to announce that my story “Your Future is Pending” will be appearing in a future issue of Clarkesworld Magazine. This will be my fifth story in Neil Clarke’s superb magazine.
“Your Future is Pending” is about AI and automation and our over-reliance on algorithms to make decisions for us. More and more in our lives, often without realizing it, algorithms are making decisions for us in place of humans. And while this of course can have many beneficial effects, there’s also a dark side to letting systems make “opaque” decisions, that is, decisions in which it is impossible for people to determine exactly how the AI came to its conclusion, only that it did. Imagine being denied a loan, necessary surgery, a great job — all because an AI determined in a way its human operators will never understand that you are unfit or unqualified. And lest you think I speak of some far future dystopia, remember this is already happening.
“Your Future is Pending” will be appearing in Clarkesworld soon.
In the most recent Geeks Guide to the Galaxy, I join Andrea Kail, Thomas Gerencer, and host David Barr Kirtley to discuss the mid-90s sci-fi anime series Aeon Flux.
Forget the crappy live-action film, the animated series took risks and tackled deep science fictional concepts that were way ahead of its time. From creeping fascism, to thought control, to genetic experimentation, Aeon Flux has it all. If you’ve never seen the series, I highly recommend it.
Fast on the heels of our last podcast, where I discussed awesomely bad 80s fantasy movies with Andrea Kail, Thomas Gerencer, and host David Barr Kirtley, this time around we discuss awesomely bad 70s and 80s science fiction films. They include:
BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY (1979)
FLASH GORDON (1980)
THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI (1984)
THE ICE PIRATES (1984)
Do I need to say that Flash Gordon is my favorite of the above? “Flying blind on a rocket cycle? I’ll send you a homing beam!”
Here’s a little taste of what I say on the podcast:
“There’s always that danger when you go back and rewatch something that you loved as a kid, and that you haven’t seen it a couple decades or more,” Kressel says in Episode 378 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “You go back and you’re like, ‘I’m going to love this, I’m going to love this,’ and then you’re like, ‘Oh. Oh no.’”
In the latest Geeks Guide to the Galaxy, I discuss Awesomely Bad 80s Fantasy Movies, like Krull, Beastmaster, Legend, Highlander, and Masters of the Universe with panelists Andrea Kail, Thomas Gerencer, and host David Bar Kirtley. And before you get up in arms at how awesome those movies are, this is some of what I say on the podcast:
“These are films that, for me, when I saw them for the first time, were just pure enjoyment. They’re just fun movies. They’re not afraid to take risks, and that’s what makes them beautiful in my eyes.”
Yes, they are campy. Yes, they resort to cliches instead of character development. Yes, they often have non-sensical plots and bad acting. But they were unapologetically true to their vision, even if flawed.
Join us for a hilarious and fun discussion of Awesomely Bad 80s Fantasy Movies here.