Lăsați robotul să scrie!, povestirea mea despre problemele cu care se confruntă un scriitor de thrillere popular din Anglia când editura care-l publică decide să cumpere un robot care scrie a câștigat Premiul II la Concursul Național de Proză Scurtă Helion 2016. Lucrările premiate vor fi publicate în revista Helion, atât online cât și în varianta tipărită. Premiile vor fi înmânate în timpul Sesiunii Helion (6-7 mai 2017). Această povestire este prima de acest fel pe care am scris-o în limba română și, fiind mai mult speculativă decât științifico-fantastică, nu eram sigură cât de bine va fi primită de juriul concursului.
“Really, at your age, what were you thinking?” Jor asked as Rul entered the office, all stitched up. On account of the blood loss and head trauma, he had apparently passed out and fallen overboard during the body retrieval. “Can’t let the subs have all the fun, can we?” Rul tried to laugh, but stopped when he realized even a small attempt at it caused him a rather nasty headache. “Too bad about your girl…It’s a shame especially when they’re so young. If you want to see the body, it’s…” “No, that’s okay,” Rul said, feeling a chill creep up
“Oh, this guy,” Jor suddenly said from behind him and Rul startled awake. The office, previously occupied only by a few drifting colleagues, was now suddenly much too lively. He blinked rapidly a few times and turned toward Jor. He was looking at one of Sparky’s sketches from Lucy’s memories. “You know him?” he asked hopeful. “Yeah, that’s Fluke, used to be a pick-pocket up on level 19. He had quite the guts on him, even stole from uppers if he got the chance,” he said. “Why wasn’t he in the system then?” Rul asked. “He never got caught so
It took Rul another two hours to return to headquarters, get the lab to construct the tissue needed to emulate the fingerprints – something the labs usually denied the knowledge of, but that was a far too standard subversion tactic not to have become routine – and then return to level 15 where to his annoyance he was once again subjected to security checks. “You’d think they’d show a little solidarity to a man in uniform,” he said to Marcus as he rearranged his clothes. However he himself was well aware of the never ending feud between MegK’s security factions.
MegaKaleidon had a population just shy of one billion. It had been an ambitious metropolis from the very beginning. Its first ever recorded census put it at 30 million. One year there had been nothing there but fields, the next, a colossus had been erected with the seal of approval of the almighty viceroy himself. It was like a hungry toddler eating everything in sight. It speedily swallowed the suburban areas around it, the villages, the cities, it encouraged an elevated birth rate, attracted investors as well as immigrants, it granted asylum, rehabilitated criminals, and became the number one location
Maast blinked when the watch – the third stand on the right, above the bloody kitchen knife, beneath the bundle of wires he kept promising himself to sort out tomorrow, never today – started beeping uncontrollably as if possessed by real life and a rather choleric personality. 00:00 it boasted far too proudly. Too bad it was broken and it only occasionally recalled that hour much to Maast’s dismay. He blinked again. The screen in front of him was blank – now he noticed. The cigarette hanging loosely from the left corner of his mouth had long burnt out. He