One fine Saturday, not too long ago, I found myself near a little bookshop in an ordinary strip mall. So I went in. I thought perhaps I could find a nice creepy Lovecraft anthology to read next. Unfortunately, they seemed to have sold out of that. But I did find another book that I thought might be a good choice: Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory.
It even had a tentacle on the cover, so it should have been sort of similar. Right?
Well, there was only one way to find out. So, one day, I sat down with the book and tore right through it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Something creepy and thought provoking, perhaps. Something like Grimm’s Fairy Tales meets The Twilight Zone. In fact, it was a lot like that. The book contains dozens of stories, most no more than a few pages long. There are stories about walking trees, talking televisions, and an octopus in the city. Most, though, are about anonymous people doing strange and unusual things.
The stories are dreamlike and fantastic, each with its own internal sort of logic. I am reminded of the fantasy sequences from movies like The Imagniarium of Dr. Parnassus, Mirror Mask, and Pan’s Labyrinth. Don’t get the wrong idea, though. While the stories in this book are odd and sometimes bizarre, the sense of creepy alienness that might come to mind at the mention of Pan’s Labyrinth isn’t a theme in this book.
This was a fun little book, and I enjoyed reading it.
Yesterday, I concluded that a fogstorm would be my ideal holiday weather forecast. Today, I realized that "clear with a chance of monsters" could also have a certain appeal…
October’s almost over, and with it, this round of Robot-a-Day. I think these latest three really sum up the different views that people hold as to the future of robotics. What will be the ultimate role of our creations? Blindly obedient applicances? Your Plastic Pal Who’s Fun To Be With™? Frankenstein’s Monsters? Might there even be a role that’s been overlooked?
Things have been a little crazy this last week. Toorcon was fun. (Hackerspaces!) What wasn’t so fun was the Witch fire, and although I wasn’t evacuated, it was looking pretty iffy there for a while. Fortunately, everything seems to be under control for now, and maybe this weekend I’ll just put on my bunny slippers, make a cup of cocoa, and read a book.
Anyway, as the title says, IOU five robots for Robot-a-Day, and here they are.
If we can digitize a human with a milling machine, it seems to me that we ought to be able to fabricate robots in a single pass. I doubt they’d be the clanking tin monsters of last century. Instead, they’d be rubbery humanoids, hydraulically or pneumatically powered. At first, they’d probably have electronic brains and hydraulic pumps built in the usual fashion, but perhaps with the invention of extremely high-resolution fabricators, even those could be printed or extruded along with the rest of the unit. Eventually, they might literally walk off the assembly line.
NO assembly required.
"We must run as fast as we can just to stay where we are. If we want to go somewhere, we must run at least twice as fast as that."
The software pirates were bad enough, but the fleets of bots that came after them were worse, much worse.
"Space is dangerous, powerful dangerous. A fella’s sure to lose a hand, a leg, even a head. The ol’ Doc does what he can for us, but sometimes– heck, most of the time– it ain’t pretty."