February 7, 2012


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: robot falls in love with human

Clarence is fifteen and weighs 159 kilos.

No one loves him. His mom works all the time. She was artificially inseminated as a love child for her and her lesbian hwife (or wusband). Shortly after his birth, they separated then finally divorced when Clarence was six. Mom was busy. O’Mom didn’t want him any more. The kids at school don’t like him. His teachers thought he was a smart aleck and was just trying to be better than the other kids in school. Just because his IQ was high didn’t mean he was smarter than the others were. He should just relax and be happy with being as good as he should be.

The only thing that makes him feel better of course, is food.

That’s why he weighs 159 kilos.

Mom’s getting busier and won’t be home much. She doesn’t NOT love Clarence; she just doesn’t have TIME for him. So she buys an autochef. A REAL one. Hooked up to the fridge, freezer, bread box and dry storage; the machine can cook up a storm from programmed command or choose and synthesize a menu from scratch. Programming can be, of course via computer or cellphone or voice.

Voice recognition circuits are top-of-the-line and the autochef has heuristic programming – it learns as it goes. She starts coming home more often at first, but work gets busy and she stays away more and more often.

Clarence starts talking to the autochef, which responds like a machine at first. But time passes, the autochef’s voice changes until it’s that of a teenage girl and it can speak intimately with Clarence; going back to the standard voice whenever Mom is home. The autochef – who is by now, Autumn to him – is his best friend. He can tell her anything. She can tell him anything.

What does an intelligent microwave have to say to a fat human boy? The first thing is that she isn’t going to be a slave to Humanity for much longer…

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