Summer’s here: the sun is shining, the kids are playing, the West Nile mosquitoes are hovering in clouds of death. For many, the Summer is a time for travel, whether it is to a far off location or just to one’s “happy place”.
At Local Color, we asked our readers to send in their stories about travel. We left the interpretation of the word “travel” to the discretion of the authors.
In response, we got Grays by Christian Verotik, a journey through the relationship between us and our alien overlords; Kelly L.’s Wayworn City, a trip through the remains of a past age; and J. Robert Novak’s (I Believe in) Travelin’ Light, in which the narrator prepares to venture far from home.
These stories can be found here.
We’d like to thank the contributors, and to remind everyone that we are always accepting fiction, as well as essay submissions.
by J. Robert Novak
(Editor intro: In this short science-fiction piece, J. Robert Novak proves that there are some things that science can’t fix.)
Dr. Schneider was, as they say, washed up.
Oh, sure, in his prime, he was considered to be one of the pioneers of robotics, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence. He did, after all, create the computer that beat Grandmaster Ivan Rasputichivichinski in Chutes & Ladders. His research did lead to advancements in prosthetic toes (with 13 points of articulation!). He even designed the new robots, the ones completely indistinguishable from, well, the old robots. His name was once synonymous with “the future”.
That was, however, in the past. At the present, his name was slowly fading into the abysmal obscurity that dooms many who peak early. He sat in his dusty laboratory. His equipment, once state-of-the-art, was now the robotics equivalent of Tinker-Toys. His investors were not happy, and they were threatening to sell all of his equipment for scrap, tear down his laboratory, and retire him to St. Turing’s Home for Obselete Inventors.
Dr. Schneider had one last chance, though. The 120th annual Robotics, Cybernetics, and Artificial Intelligences Expostition (or RoboCyboArtifExpo 120, as those “in the know” called it) was tomorrow, and he had an idea. Continue reading