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Search Results Returned:  26


The Lifecycle of Software Objects

Ted Chiang

Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated Novella

What's the best way to create artificial intelligence? In 1950, Alan Turing wrote, 'Many people think that a very abstract activity, like the playing of chess, would be best. It can also be maintained that it is best to provide the machine with the best sense organs that money can buy, and then teach it to understand and speak English. This process could follow the normal teaching of a child. Things would be pointed out and named, etc. Again I do not know what the right answer is, but I think both approaches should be tried.'

The first approach has been tried many times in both science fiction and reality. In this new novella, at over 30,000 words, his longest work to date, Ted Chiang offers a detailed imagining of how the second approach might work within the contemporary landscape of startup companies, massively-multiplayer online gaming, and open-source software. It's a story of two people and the artificial intelligences they helped create, following them for more than a decade as they deal with the upgrades and obsolescence that are inevitable in the world of software. At the same time, it's an examination of the difference between processing power and intelligence, and of what it means to have a real relationship with an artificial entity.

Read this story online for free at Subterranean Press.

Vaporware

Richard E. Dansky

Video game projects get shut down all the time, but when the one Ryan Colter and his team have poured their hearts into gets cut, something different happens: the game refuses to go away. Now Blue Lightning is alive, and it wants something from Ryan - something only he can give it. And everybody knows how addictive video games can be...

The Warehouse

Rob Hart

Paxton never thought he'd be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that's eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he'd be moving into one of the company's sprawling live-work facilities.

But compared to what's left outside, Cloud's bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses... well, it doesn't seem so bad. It's more than anyone else is offering.

Zinnia never thought she'd be infiltrating Cloud. But now she's undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company's darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him.

As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme -- one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he's so carefully assembled here.

Together, they'll learn just how far the company will go... to make the world a better place.

Beware

Richard Laymon

The supermarket shouldn't have been shut - it wasn't normal for Elsie to quit early. But then it wasn't normal for a meat cleaver to fly through the air by itself. Or for a guard dog locked in overnight to end up as hamburger meat. Or for Elsie herself to feature on the butcher's slab, neatly wrapped and jointed... There's weird things happening in the town of Oasis and certain folks - like hotshot local reporter Lacey Allen - had better... BEWARE!

Mono no Aware

Ken Liu

The world is shaped like the kanji for umbrella, only written so poorly, like my handwriting, that all the parts are out of proportion.


Read this story online for free at Lightspeed Magazine.

Breath's a Ware That Will Not Keep

Thomas F. Monteleone

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Dystopian Visions (1975) edited by Roger Elwood. It can also be found in the anthology Nebula Winners Twelve (1978), edited by Gordon R. Dickson.

Abandonware

An Owomoyela

This short story originally appeared in Fantasy Magazine, June 2010. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011, edited by Rich Horton.

Read the full story for free at Fantasy Magazine.

Abandonware

Genevieve Valentine

This short story originally appeared in Lightspeed, September 2018.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Children of Artifice

Danie Ware

An ancient city, sealed in a vast crater. A history of metallurgical magic, and of Builders that could craft the living, breathing stone.

Caphen Talmar is the high-born son of an elite family, descended from the Builders themselves, his artistic career ruined when his ex-lover broke his fingers.

One night, gambling down at the wharfside - somewhere he shouldn't have been in the first place - he meets Aden. An uncomplicated, rough-edged dockworker, Aden is everything Caph needs to forget the pressures of his father's constant criticism.

But this isn't just another one-night stand. Aden is trying to find his sister, and he needs Caph's help. Soon, they find themselves tangled in a deadly game of trust, lies and political rebellion.

And, as Caph begins to understand the real depth of the horrors they've uncovered, he learns that Aden is not what he seems. And Aden knows more about the coming destruction than Caph could ever have guessed.

Let the Spacemen Beware! / The Wizard of Starship Poseidon

Poul Anderson
Kenneth Bulmer

Let the Spacemen Beware!

The inhabitants of Gwydion are a peaceful race with no weapons let alone concept of hatred or war. Every item on the planet has a mythological meaning to them. All except for one of the plants that grows nearly everywhere. The two main characters have arrived from different planets. One is from a libertarian culture while the other is from a capitalistic culture. They both fall in love with the same woman and are determined to find out why the Gwydions act the way they do.

The Wizard of Starship Poseidon

CONSPIRACY OF GENIUS

His height barely reached five feet, his spindly legs supported a bulging chest, and his eyes protruded grotesquely from a gnome-like head - but within that absurd-looking man lay the mind of a genius.

It was a genius that had carried mankind deep into the secrets of creation and was now on the verge of producing living organisms from test tubes filled with inert chemicals. The world, however, ridiculed the theories of Professor Cheslin Randolph and the government refused to advance the millions needed for the final series of experiments.

But Professor Randolph was determined to get the money - even if it meant turning his powerful brain to robbing a spaceship in mid-flight, using trained viruses as his accomplices.

Human, Beware!

Dragons: Book 2

Thorarinn Gunnarsson

The Way Between the Worlds has been opened...and Jenny Barker couldn't be happier. How else could a California girl meet a real-life dragon? Sure, dragons are an uncommon sight in the land of fun and sun. But what if the shoe was on the other foot? How would a world of dragons react to a blonde human on a skateboard? Jenny is about to find out.

Ecko Rising

Ecko Series: Book 1

Danie Ware

In a futuristic London where technological body modification is the norm, Ecko stands alone as a testament to the extreme capabilities of his society. Driven half mad by the systems running his body, Ecko is a criminal for hire. No job is too dangerous or insane.

When a mission goes wrong and Ecko finds himself catapulted across dimensions into a peaceful and unadvanced society living in fear of 'magic', he must confront his own percepions of reality and his place within it.

A thrilling debut, Ecko Rising explores the massive range of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and the possible implications of pitting them against one another. Author Danie Ware creates an immersive and richly imagined world that readers will be eager to explore in the first book in this exciting new trilogy.

Ecko Burning

Ecko Series: Book 2

Danie Ware

Ecko and his companions follow a trail of myth and rumour to a ruined city where both nightmare and shocking truth lie in wait.

Ecko Endgame

Ecko Series: Book 3

Danie Ware

Ecko realises that to save the Varchinde, he must face the greatest threat of all - the one that has come from his own world.

Earth Unaware

Ender's Universe: First Formic War: Book 1

Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston

The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador's telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it's hard to know what to make of it. It's massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems...not important.

They're wrong. It's the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. The first Formic War is about to begin.

The Aware

Isles of Glory: Book 1

Glenda Larke

Imagine what it's like to be born citizenless in a world where citizenship is everything.

Imagine what it's like to be abandoned by the parents you can't remember before you are two years old, in a city that despises you for being a halfbreed.

Imagine what it is like to be able to see magic when others can't.

Imagine what it's like to live in the Glory Isles at a time when your archipelago is about to be discovered by another civilization from half a world away. Changes are in the wind

This is the world of The Aware.

Angels Unaware

Quantum Leap: Book 12

L. Elizabeth Storm

Years after Al appears to a young girl and leads her to believe he is her guardian angel, the girl, now grown, loses her faith and goes to a monastery to die, and Sam, having leaped into the body of a priest, must prevent her death.

Let the Spacemen Beware!

Technic Civilization: Dominic Flandry: Book 11

Poul Anderson

Originally appeared in Ace Double F-209 (1963).

The inhabitants of Gwydion are a peaceful race with no weapons let alone concept of hatred or war. Every item on the planet has a mythological meaning to them. All except for one of the plants that grows nearly everywhere. The two main characters have arrived from different planets. One is from a libertarian culture while the other is from a capitalistic culture. They both fall in love with the same woman and are determined to find out why the Gwydions act the way they do.

Beware of the Mouse

The Mouse That Roared: Book 5

Leonard Wibberley

A prequel to the bestselling classic The Mouse That Roared.

Set in the year 1450, the tiny Duchy of Grand Fenwick, ruled by the benevolent and noble Sir Roger and armed with its army of expert longbowmen, had existed peacefully without threat of invasion for decades. But when a rascally Irish Knight stumbles across its borders with news that the French were set to attack and that they had a new weapon of mass destruction called "the cannon," the Irishman and Sir Roger must find a way to drop their differences and fight together, a feat made even more difficult when Sir Roger's daughter, the Lady Matilda becomes unduly enamored in the Irish newcomer.

The Ware Tetralogy

Ware

Rudy Rucker

It starts with Software, where rebel robots bring immortality to their human creator by eating his brain. Software won the first Philip K. Dick Award. In Wetware, the robots decide to start building people--and people get strung out on an insane new drug called merge. This cyberpunk classic garnered a second Philip K. Dick award. By Freeware, the robots have evolved into soft plastic slugs called moldies--and some human "cheeseballs" want to have sex with them. The action redoubles when aliens begin arriving in the form of cosmic rays. And with Realware, the humans and robots reach a higher plateau. Includes an introduction by William Gibson.

Software

Ware: Book 1

Rudy Rucker

It was Cobb Anderson who built the"boppers"--the first robots with real brains. Now, in 2020, Cobb is just another aged "pheezer" with a bad heart, drinking and grooving an the old tunes in Florida retirement hell. His "bops" have came a long way, though, rebelling against their subjugation to set up their own society an the moon. And now they're offering creator Cobb immortality but at a stiff price: his body his soul... and his world.

Wetware

Ware: Book 2

Rudy Rucker

In 2030, bopper robots in their lunar refuge have founds a way to infuse DNA wetware with their own software code. The result is a new lifeform: the "meatbop." Fair is fair, after all. Humans built the boppers, now bops are building humans... sort of. It's all part of an insidious plot that's about to ensnare Della Taze--who doesn't think she killed her lover while in drug-induced ecstasy... but isn't sure. And it's certainly catastrophic enough to call Cobb Anderson -- the pheezer who started it all -- out of cold-storage heaven.

Freeware

Ware: Book 3

Rudy Rucker

The Godfather of cyberpunk--a mad scientist bravely meddling in the outrageous and heretical--Rucker created Bopper Robots, who rebelled against human society in his award-winning classic Software.

Now, in 2953, "moldies" are the latest robotic advancement--evolved artificial lifeforms made of soft plastic and gene-tweaked molds and algae, so anatomically inventive and universally despised that their very presence on the planet has thrown the entire low-rent future into a serious tailspin. So the moon is the place to be, if you're a persecuted "moldie" or an enlightened "flesher" intent an creating a new, more utopian hybrid civilization. Of course up there, there are other intergalactic intelligences to contend with--and some not so intelligent--who have their own agendas and appetites.

This is scientific fabulation at its most brazenly inventive--funny, cutting-edge and deeply informed. No writer alive puts it all together like Rudy Rucker.Artificial life forms made of soft plastic and gene-tweaked mold and algae, moldies are evolved robots in the year 2053--anatomically inventive and universally despised. In a sleazy, low-rent future, sexual fraternization with moldies is strictly taboo--a societal sin that is of no concern whatsoever to Randy Karl Tucker. A Kentucky boy who has seriously strayed from the Heritagist religion1s stern teachings about the evils of artificial life, Randy feels a definite something for Monique, moldie bookkeeper and maid at the Clearlight Terrace Court Motel But Monique1s sudden and inexplicable abduction from the planet--coupled with unsettling revelations about Randy1s own dubious origins--is dragging the degenerate flesher and all those around him into an ugly, conspiratorial mess... even as it pulls an unsuspecting humanity ever-closer to a stunning encounter with intergalactic intelligence.

Realware

Ware: Book 4

Rudy Rucker

Gottner doesn't know where his life is. His girlfriend is hooked on merge, a drug used in "bacteria-style" sex. His father has just been swallowed by a hyperspatial anomaly that materialized from a piece of art designed to project images of four-dimensional objects into three-dimensional space. Then, at the funeral, Phil meets and falls in love with Yoke Starr-Mydol, a young lovely visiting from the Moon.

Spuring Phil's advances, Yoke flies to the Polynesian island of Tonga, where she discovers an alien presence at the bottome of the sea. Calling themselves Metamartians, the aliens offer Yoke an alla,a handheld device that gives its owner the power of mind over matter--which, it turns out, is pretty much like having a magic wand.

But as Phil pursues Yoke, and the altruistic Metamartians distribute more allas, he begins to suspect that his father's disappearance and presumed death are linked to the aliens and their miraculous gift. For it seems that the allas are accompanied by a fourth-dimensional entity known as Om, a godlike being who's taken a special interest in humans. Now Phil and Yoke must solve the mystery of the Metamartians and their god, before humanity uses its newfound powers to destroy itself altogether.

'Ware Hawk

Witch World: Estcarp Cycle: Book 7

Andre Norton

Spurred on by a recurring dream, Tirtha accompanied by a falconer, embarks on a dangerous journey to her ancestral home, aware that she is bound by a spell to fulfill a mission whose purpose is unknown to her.

The Chimera Code

Witchware: Book 1

Wayne Santos

Everything's for hire - even magic.

If you need something done, Cloke's one of the best; a mercenary with some unusual talents and an attitude to match. But when she's hired by a virtual construct to destroy the other copies of himself, and the down payment is a new magical skill, she knows this job is going to be a league harder than anything she's ever done.