Monday 3 October 2011

Last Words

My freshest bit of short fiction, Last Words, graces the new issue of AE: The Canadian Science-Fiction Review. As per our usual habit around here, I supplied my own illustration as well.

Please take a moment to swing on by to AE to lay down some comments, if you're feeling chatty and wouldn't mind lending your efforts to selling the idea that what I write merits discussion.

While you're there, check out some of this fledgling magazine's previous offerings, including Matt Moore's Prix Aurora Prize-contending short story, Touch the Sky, They Say.



Big t said...

Sorry CBB, I can't vote I am a dumb American.

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Big t,

Well, see if you can't fix that by the time it's time to nominate my story for next year's award, naturally.

Cheeseburger Brown

SaintPeter said...

So sad and haunting. We give these machines voice, then dispose of them when they've reached the end of their "useful" lives.

I'm not convinced that "Justice" was served. Maybe it was the only possible justice that could have been served with only the say-so of a machine and a lower class worker. He could hardly get away with it, of course. He was not careful and his picture was already sent to the police.

I thought at first that he was just doing it for the girl, but I suspect he was doing it for the robot. His life is like a robot - a second class citizen, looked down upon by the people he serves - he has more solidarity with a piece of machinery than with his "superiors". He is doing it for the robot - completing the robots unfinished task.

Was this one of the aforementioned "paying gigs"?

Cheeseburger Brown said...


Thanks for the thoughtful response!

I don't disagree that Dell Kraft's interpretation of justice is imperfect, and that his motives were largely personal rather than moral. And you're certainly right that he's the one they'll go looking for first, given his prior trespass.

On the other hand, nephew didn't get away with his crime. So a certain service has been rendered, even if the net amount of sin was higher in the end than in the beginning.

This story is basically about xenophobia, as far as I'm concerned, and your idea of Dell's sympathies being with the melted machine wouldn't be at all off-base in that light. I hadn't thought of it exactly that way myself, but I think that's neat, SaintPeter, and fully credible.

And yes, yes it was. And whatever you've heard about the rates of pay for professional writers being laughably low, I can assure it it's not true at all.

I've got the cheque right here, and as soon as I submit this comment I'm driving over to the liquor store to cash it. Then I'm going on a week-long bender of binge gambling in the United Arab Emirates where I will engage in a lavish and lascivious roller-coaster of substance abuse and hazardous chemicals mixing without proper eyewear, shitting gold bricks and giving out free pearl necklaces.

Just tell my boss I won the writer's lottery!

Cheeseburger Brown

Sheik Yerbouti said...

Does this mean you won't be needing that island?

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Sheik,

I will still need the island, as I have now squandered all the spoils of writing.

And I have nothing to do show for it except an empty bottle of Dom Perignon with a full-grown mouse inside of it somehow and also, inexplicably, a very badly rendered tattoo of Bender on my bottom.

Cheeseburger Brown