Skip to main content

"Left of Bang: Preemptive Self-Actualization Autonomous Systems" by Vajra Chandrasekera

"Left of Bang: Preemptive Self-Actualization Autonomous Systems" by Vajra Chandrasekera 

This story comes from Clarkeworld Magazine issue #127, April 2017.  You can read it free here: 

I'm not sure which direction the author was taking this story, but I'll talk about the way I perceived this story and what I thought it was about. 

A new model of android was being developed and tested.  More than likely this was a private firm who developed the android.  They had the full range of people in the group testing the android.  Engineers, cyberneticists, programmers, psychologists, project managers, and even more including the people funding this android project. 

The goal of the testing was assassinations.  They were testing to see if they could assassinate the android and how the android responded to each threat.  There were many different types of tests each becoming more difficult with each phase of testing. 

Eventually the final phase of testing came around.  Lookout killer on the loose! 

This was a fairly short story, but doesn't mean that it was bad at all.  There was quite a bit of story in that short story.  This story encompassed the emotions of the android while he was being tested and also showed the lack of emotions.  It had action and conflict.  The author fit it all in this story. 

The ending was how I could really see a project like this ending.  I actually laughed after the last part of the ending because of who was left alive.  That is also what made me suppose this was a private firm, but could very well of been a government agency as well.  Either way sometimes secrets go to the grave. 

I enjoyed this quick read very much.  Like I said it even made me laugh.  The story read fast and packed quite the wallop


Popular posts from this blog

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow
This story comes from the anothology "Brave New Worlds" edited by John Joseph Adams.
This story had an interesting concept.  A government program in Merry Valley gives anonymous and random red cards to some of the residents.  A government issued revolver is also given along with the red card.  These red cards entitle the carrier of the card to become what is known as an "enforcer." 
An enforcer gets to kill one person of their choosing for any reason.  They can kill with impunity, but must follow the laws and guidelines of the program to not get in trouble.  As long as the guidelines are followed there are no repercussions

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson
This story comes from the anthology "The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Vol. 2" edited by Neil Clarke.
This is a story about a squad leader, named Elliot, and his squad.  Elliot is the squad leader of the team that was flying through the air of the planet.  He is also the squad leader addicted to pain killers.  Although he tries to hide this fact from his squad many of them notice the changes in him.  He's not fooling anyone.
The squad wasflying through the air of a planet when they hit a smart mine and went down.  The planet was covered in large swathes of fungi.  Fields of it for miles.  Small amounts of flora, but pretty much just the fungi all around them.
They went down pretty hard, but with only one casualty.  Beasley was pretty much sheared in half, but still coherent.  He sent out a ripple to the squad.  Each squad member saw the flash of light on their optic visor that allowed them an up or down vote on whe…

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden
This story comes from the collection "Tell My Sorrows To The Stones" written by Christopher Golden.
This story started out following a national guardsman, Carl Weston, waiting in a trench.  We aren't sure what he is waiting for yet, but we find out he is "babysitting" one of the new guardsman, Brooksy.  Soon we find out the National Guard is working with Border Patrol on the Mexican Border.
The Border Patrol had intel that there was a cartel running illegals across the borders and making them smuggle cocaine at the same time.  A double bonus for the cartel.  The Border Patrol setup an operation to stop this shipment of drugs and illegals crossing the border withthe National Guard backing them up.
Soon illegals crossed the border from Mexico into the United States carrying backpacks full of drugs.