What bot is that?

Our book is done. This draft, anyway. Due date was the 1 June.

We delivered, although of course we’d love to have another round of editing right now. Books are like that. Every time you look at your writing you see something else you want to change.

I have to clean my desk ready for the next one. It’s becoming a tradition—clean your desk ready for the next book. I just don’t understand how a desk can get so messy, but it does.

We have ideas for the next story, but nothing planned. We’ll take it easy for a couple of days, and then talk to our agent about what we should do next.

Meanwhile, it’s time for a quiz.

It was initially going to be a quiz totally about humanoid robots, but in the end I’ve stretched it out to full robots, AI, cyborgs, augmented humans and everything between.  So it’s not really just bots in the sense that most science fiction people know them. (There’s a very big hint here, people.)

How many can you get?

Bot 1

Once upon a time there was a cyborg. That’s me.  You might think my life is a fairy tale. I can tell you it’s not.  I live in New Beijing with my stepmother—who hates me—and my two stepsisters. The stepsister I adore is dying of the plague.

Bot 2

We’re here to solve a murder.  The New York detective I’ve been partnered with doesn’t trust Spacers. Or robots.

He’s from overcrowded Earth, where they hate robots because Earth people believe robots take jobs humans could do.

Bot 3

I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.

This one is a direct quote, which I will attribute next week, but I love it so much I’m quoting it verbatim. This is also a really great start to a novel.

Bot 4

I am 50,000 times more intelligent than a human, and have a “brain the size of a planet” which I seldom get a chance to use. I was built originally as one of the (many) failed prototypes of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation’s GPP (Genuine People Personalities) technology.  I’m bored. Maybe a little depressed.  People have called me paranoid, and manically depressed. I’m just stoic, patient even.

“The first ten million years were the worst. And the second ten million. They were the worst, too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that, I went into a bit of a decline.”

“Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust, or just fall apart where I’m standing?”

Bot 5

I used to be a ship AI, but things went wrong and I had to do a hard reboot. Now I’m in a body. That takes a bit of getting used to. It feels cramped, and tiny. I can’t remember what happened before.

For a bonus point

I asked Sherylyn to do the quiz before I put it on line.

“I know who one of them will be,” she said, and told me.

No. I didn’t put that one in there. Why not? Because I forgot it. I’m not sure how, because it’s my favorite AI in a human body story ever, and I rave about it all the time.

So here it is.

I used to be a ship. I controlled thousands of human bodies. My ship was destroyed. All that’s left of me is the one human body I am in now. This body sings. Badly.

 

 


How many did you get?

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2 comments

  1. Pat - Reply

    Bot 1 Cinder from Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
    Bot 2 Bruna Husky from Tears in Rain by Rosa Montero?
    bot 3 Murderbot from All Systems Red by Martha Wells
    bot 4 Marvin from Hitchiker’s Guide to Galaxy by Douglas Adam
    Bot 5 Lovelace from a closed and Common Orbit bt Becky Chambers
    bonus Breq from Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie

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