Monday, July 9, 2012

A Love Machine, a Smart Vac, and an Escaping Prisoner

Finally, I'm back on some sort of schedule. Now the idea is to somehow stay on this schedule. I'll find a way to do that somehow or another. Let's just call these last couple of months a transitional period

Anyways, I have some fun stories for you. The two more recent stories deal with robotics: the first story with artificial intelligence and the second with smart technology (though not AI). Your stories for this week are Luke R. Pebler's "New Beau," Lee Hallison's "Taking Care of Ma," and "A World Is Born" by Leigh Douglass Brackett.

New Beau by Luke R. Pebler -- Ray Gun Revival
After losing her husband, old Ms. Lila Prosser has been feeling quite lonely. What is an old widow to do? In this story, Ms. Prosser has found a company that sets her up with a new companion every twelve weeks. Why twelve weeks? Well, these companions aren't exactly human. Heck, they aren't completely alive either. And the longer she is with a companion, the harder it is to split them up. And Ms. Prosser has had the latest model with her for just about twelve weeks. It's time to trade in for a different model, but she's grown very attached to this new one.

Taking Care of Ma by Lee Hallison -- Daily Science Fiction
The older you are, the harder it is to accept new technology. This isn't always true, but often it is the case. In this story a couple of adult siblings get their aging mother a smart vacuum. The mother, however, being somewhat of a Luddite, doesn't take to the new piece of technology. She would rather do the vacuuming herself. She can't comprehend how the vacuum will do the work for her. And the other things it's supposed to do. 

A World Is Born by Leigh Douglass Brackett -- Comet Magazine, July 1941
Mel Gray, a prisoner of war, is now stuck on working stint on Mercury. Everyone else is there of their own free will. And he soon finds out why he's the only one forced to be there. He's there because the "bad guys" know that he will try to escape. When he doesn't do exactly what they expect of him, they start to chase after him. This story is pretty much a long chase with a little bit of action thrown in.

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