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.