Whilst awaiting more rejections form the agent world, I need to find other things to occupy my fecund imagination. So, firstly I have decided to set myself the challenge of writing a short story every week. This is above and beyond any commitments to my creative writing group. You can find an explanation for the decision here along with the first example written last week.
Secondly, recently I have been watching quite a lot of the Channel 4 season “Rise of the Robots” and that got me thinking. The idea that robots and/or AI will replace a great number of the jobs currently undertaken by humans is fairly well documented. Usually they add a rather smug caveat that the jobs least at risk are the creative ones. But is that true? How protected are we authors from the inexorable march of robot kind? Well your intrepid writer has been finding out. What follows is a short story written by a program based on some key words decided by myself. I was not trying to be deliberately tricky. The keywords I used were genuine attempts to be helpful to the program. The result was as follows………
The Cursed Newspaper
A Short Story by Newton Fisher
William Blackman looked at the cursed newspaper in his hands and felt angry.
He walked over to the window and reflected on his crowded surroundings. He had always loved noisy Amsterdam with its cooing, curried Coffee Shops. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel angry.
Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Sally Barker. Sally was a forgetful coward with fat arms and greasy fingernails.
William gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was a cowardly, greedy, beer drinker with dirty arms and fragile fingernails. His friends saw him as a lovely, large lawyer. Once, he had even saved a blue deaf person that was stuck in a drain.
But not even a cowardly person who had once saved a blue deaf person that was stuck in a drain, was prepared for what Sally had in store today.
The drizzle rained like shouting , making William anxious.
As William stepped outside and Sally came closer, he could see the enthusiastic smile on her face.
“I am here because I want revenge,” Sally bellowed, in a tactless tone. She slammed her fist against William’s chest, with the force of 3105 . “I frigging hate you, William Blackman.”
William looked back, even more anxious and still fingering the cursed newspaper. “Sally, I just don’t need you in my life any more,” he replied.
They looked at each other with lonely feelings, like two breakable, muddy chatting at a very proud holiday, which had reggae music playing in the background and two smart uncles sitting to the beat.
Suddenly, Sally lunged forward and tried to punch William in the face. Quickly, William grabbed the cursed newspaper and brought it down on Sally’s skull.
Sally’s fat arms trembled and her greasy fingernails wobbled. She looked fuzzy, her body raw like a mute, mutated map.
Then she let out an agonising groan and collapsed onto the ground. Moments later Sally Barker was dead.
William Blackman went back inside and made himself a nice drink of beer.
Well, wasn’t that exciting! I think even we unpublished authors can take comfort that our position as tortured artists remains intact for a little while. If you want to have a go at writing your own AI story then head on over here and have some fun.
See you out there.