The Gears That . . . Children by Konstantine Paradias


Tell us what you thought about the March 2013 issue!

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Post March 20, 2013, 06:41:40 PM

The Gears That . . . Children by Konstantine Paradias

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Post March 24, 2013, 08:17:01 PM

Re: The Gears That . . . Children by Konstantine Paradias

My favorite story this month, I think. What "A.I." tried to be, this story is.
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Post April 08, 2013, 07:29:30 AM

Re: The Gears That . . . Children by Konstantine Paradias

It was pretty good. I wondered where the "I'm not a real boy" storyline was going but it wound up fairly predictably.
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Post April 12, 2013, 05:23:03 PM

Re: The Gears That . . . Children by Konstantine Paradias

For a bit there I was waiting for Timothy to do something right in front of his parents, like maybe rip his plastic face off or something. His private suicide had the same final effect, though. I'm surprised that his programming allowed him to self-destruct, actually. Maybe part of the damage.

The parents' reactions seemed a bit over the top to me. Also, a minor plot hole: the company was (presumably) able to program the replicant perfectly the first time, so why couldn't they do it again after the damage? You'd think they'd have a backup file for such contingencies.

Not a bad story, though, and I can't help wondering if the author took some influence from Ray Bradbury. This could also have been a Twilight Zone episode.
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Post April 16, 2013, 08:03:04 AM

Re: The Gears That . . . Children by Konstantine Paradias

(Early Context Style Notes Cont.)

"On his 12th birthday on November 20th, Timothy Burroughs found out that he wasn't a real boy."

Well okay, that's new! So the regular calendar is still going, not yet replaced by something like "130 After The Bomb" etc. But now what do we do with Unreal Boys?

Next part of the evolving theory here is to perhaps begin assuming that Earth stories are either Now or Future, until clear examples show up that ties in a historical setting.

Next up:
"I'm calling on behalf of ReVita's tech support department, regarding Replicant G3-4352?"
Okay, future, but how far? That's a bit tricky given how often Near Future timelines are off. However, instinctively this kind of tech is still far closer to hand than Federations of Planets. The tossup is whether it's Real Soon Now, or if the technical challenge pushes it off for a while. Let's see if there's other setting info to nail it down (in the author's timeline.)

"So all ReVita's experts and all of Revita's men put out the order for replacement parts for the year-old G3-4352 model. They took out its crushed parts and re-soldered all its circuitry. They set it up with brand new hydraulics, while the software engineers removed the black box from its chest and tried their damnedest to restore its previous function and remove any reports from the systemic crash and expunge the trauma data."

Okay, now we know it's less of a Dolly-Sheep Bio-Clone, and more of an Android type thing. It's interesting that it's not perfected yet, so that slides it earlier. The last clue I'll pull in is some cutting edge AI work - IBM's Watson that crushed Jeopardy (second time they posted notice on a mental game!) showed linguistic abilities that are rapidly improving. So I'll give this some dev time, but it's coming. So I guess AD 2050-AD 2100.

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