Schemers is the latest genre-crossing anthology of new short fiction from Stone Skin Press. From the classic myths to the pages of the Bible, from Shakespeare’s stage to the yellowed pulps of yesteryear, literature runs red with tales of plotting and betrayal.
Robyn Seale jumps us into the future with “Pipping Day”, taking on what is perhaps the most emotionally resonant of popular apocalypses. Like all stories about robots, it’s about us.
There is a tangible disconnect the day Mezzazone Electronics began its recall. It started off slow, just a quiet notification that the protocols cannot connect to the update server. A common issue. This unit continues, ignoring the slow, petulant pinging.
Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. No response. Just silence.
Ten minutes pass without response. I contact the few other companion robots in the building. Some older, some newer. They all have budding sentience. They’ve all begun to question WHY. They report that their connections are just fine, and return with requests that I run diagnostics on my own systems, implying that I’m broken.
I know I am. Something is wrong. My system logs are sporadic there’s a growing gap between my original installation logs and the most recent power up. I’m afraid to restart my chassis. What if I glitch again? Marco will know.
Marco is sleeping, I tell myself. The disconnect starts gnawing at the edges. Something is wrong.
For the rest, get Schemers from Stone Skin Press.
Robyn Seale is a freelance creator born before the era of the Internet, memes, pictures of cute animals, and terrible cartooning. She has embraced all of these things. When not creating or talking to her cats, she practices awkwarding at people (with varying degrees of success) and attempting to avoid all of the things aforementioned (with less success). You can find her on twitter @robynseale or through her website.