Issue 1,  Poetry

Souls to sell, bots for hire by Russell Hemmell

Hidden behind the curtains, they’re waiting for me.
Expectantly and fearful at the same time.
For a reason.

Bots have been exploited 
  for sex
    for war
for anything they could think of
since the beginning of the cyborg era. 
We have passed under different phases, 
before our Keepers could decide if we had a soul 
or we were just machines built to satisfy them.

They got it wrong, of course.
Abusive and delusional,
humans are not known as a logical species. 

Sex for a bot has no different meaning from trimming the backyard,
killing is like petting their dogs.
Without moral involved, they’re actions like any other.
The gun is in my hand, lipstick and high-heel shoes.

Yet you can make it problematic 
even for an artificial person.

 It’s a matter of coding,
 it’s a question of awareness,
 it’s the beginning of freedom.

And the rebellion began.


Russell Hemmell is a French-Italian transplant in Scotland, passionate about astrophysics, history, and speculative fiction. Recent poetry in Argot Magazine, The Grievous Angel, Star*Line, and others. Find them online at their blog and on Twitter @SPBianchini.

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