Suzanne Palmer is a writer and linux system administrator who lives in western Massachusetts. Her work has appeared frequently in Asimov’s and Analog, and her Clarkesworld story “The Secret Life of Bots” won the 2018 Hugo for Best Novelette. Her next novel, The Scavenger Door (book three of the Finder Chronicles), will be published by DAW in August 2021.
I have been activated, therefore I have a purpose, Bot 9 thought. I have a purpose, therefore I serve. It recited the Mantra Upon Waking, to check that it was running at optimum physical efficiency, then the Mantra of Obedience, the Mantra of Not Improvising Without Clear Oversight and Direction, and the Mantra of Not […]
I know what Dave wants even before he says it, before I’ve even taken off my stupid work cap or thrown my keys on top of the pile of crap beside the door. He’s taken his head off again, somehow, and I never can figure how he does it with no thumbs or even fingers, […]
I go down to the gate, swipe my security pass, and step through the ten-meter tall, still-opening doors into the last of the wild lands. I remove my boots at the threshold and set them on a rack for that purpose, then carefully wash my feet from the basin of rainwater, still chill from the […]
[CC] Welcome online, Cybernetic Elbow Model CI953-L. This is your introductory Initial Boot orientation. You are currently in a locked and muted configuration while external medical systems run diagnostics to see that your replacement procedure has been fully successful. If so, you will fully join the collective cybernetic units that currently comprise—with your addition—approximately thirty-three […]
I have been activated, therefore I have a purpose, the bot thought. I have a purpose, therefore I serve. It recited the Mantra Upon Waking, a bundle of subroutines to check that it was running at optimum efficiency, then it detached itself from its storage niche. Its power cells were fully charged, its systems ready, […]