The ResAliens website quickly enthralled me. There was so much to READ and I couldn’t even choose where to begin! (visit Web site link – http://www.resaliens.com/ ) They have an e-magazine which I quickly downloaded for FREE and will have to comment in a later blog, as well as short stories and interviews with artists and authors.
So, where did I start? Call it laziness, or following the direction of the webmaster, I started at the top at the most advertised piece: T.M. Hunter’s Dead or Alive anthology of short stories. “Some assembly required” was a pretty cool read. I immediately thought of a Blade Runneresque bar scene and the subject matter was Asimovian (which I love). Throughout the story I was impressed by the overall writing skill and the development (albeit short) of Aston. By the end I was hoping that he’d leave Libby behind and get out with his cash, and life. If you’d like to read the story please do, but if you are not interested, read on. (There’s a little bit of spoiler in the next paragraph.)
You see, Libby is a machine. It takes Aston a little while to realize it, but yes, she’s a robot (that used to happen to me all the time in my college days). By the end he’s hoping to “save her” from being deprogrammed at the risk of his own well-being, but this brought up an interesting dilemma in my feeble philosophical mind. As Christians, how should we integrate AI into our sf writing? How are we supposed to respond to AI as readers? Biblically, man cannot create life or “make souls” and I’m considering if it’s problematic to raise a robot’s worth to the same status as a human. For instance, I am a huge fan of the Star Wars series, and while C3PO was constantly dismantled and dismembered, the director never made us even attempt compassion for him. We all knew he could be reconstructed and reprogrammed. (It’s intention usually was comedic, not to evoke compassion.) In contrast, the movie A.I. constantly attempted to make us feel compassion for a robot; I couldn’t take it. Was I the only one who wanted to see David (the boy) finished off at the carnival? Well, maybe that was a little harsh, but at the same time, just like C3PO, couldn’t he have just been reconstructed? But I have to admit, I’ve got a little place in my heart for WALL-E, who was programmed to collect trash, but inexplicably falls in love with another robot who was, rather ironically, searching for life on earth.
I digress from my philosophical tirade. Whether or not AI should be used in Christian SF is up for debate and I’d love comments or even links to other articles on the subject. From the one short story I read from Hunter’s book on the ResAliens website, I’m definitely down for reading more. There is a book giveaway on goodreads which I quickly entered HERE.
Hope you enjoy the site!
Thomas Clayton Booher
CSFF Blog Tour
Carol Bruce Collett
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller