As I’ve said before, I feel that short stories are under-reviewed on Goodreads, and in general—a short-sighted omission. Think how many wonderful authors have been immortalized through their short fiction: Ephraim Kishon, the Israeli humorist, for example; Roald Dahl (if you haven’t read his short stories for adults, please…) Stanislav Lem with his 'Tales of Pirx the Pilot'.
The review of short stories is relatively neglected on Goodreads. Which is a pity, because short stories are a microcosm of the writer’s craft. Also, think how many characters that have become immortal began their literary lives in short stories—Sherlock Holmes, Conan the Barbarian, Father Brown, and a pantheon more.
“I am Volition… but you can call me Will.” A silvery humanoid icon appeared, shimmering.
Sean thought of Jordan: Sprat’s gonna be too big for his boots now. Need putting down… The image of a mop-haired poodle came to mind, and he chuckled poisonously. Yeah, like a sick dog. Get my flash-drive back first though.
“I’m not overdosing. And it’s not my fault if someone trolls me. Don’t overreact.”
Grumpet rested his plump hand on Jordan’s afro; dug his fingers into its thick, lush fuzz. Jordan bucked. He could feel Grumpet’s flabby belly pressing against his shoulder over the rim of the chair-back. Whoa. Freaky!
An incoming message pinged his glasses. Bunnylicious99@…? He accepted. A pic flashed on screen. Weird shape. Flesh-toned. A body-part?No ways!
…She feels bad about offending an angel. Not good. Really not good.
Mid-song, a disco beat thumped from the speakers as a silvery humanoid shape flashed centre-screen, dancing, riffing to the music: “…should have changed that stupid lock; you should have made me leave my key. If you’d known for just one second, you’d be bothered to see…”
‘The virus…you’re responsible.’ That’s what I hear Arno say.
The AI ceiling: any software that exceeded parameters for independence and self-awareness found running free on the net was culled by Initializers.
Poliamuel flutters down to place a scroll on the cushions near Leandré’s free hand. At first it’s no bigger than a rolled up postage stamp, but in seconds it swells into a handsome cylinder capped with a sliver crown.
“And that’s going to turn it into an AI?” gawped Jordan.
“Nooo. Twit! I already said not. Mostly they just freeze and die. Junk code’s all that’s left. But sometimes…” Sean tilted his head for emphasis. “Sometimes, they come out drooling idiots, like. When that happens it’s a laugh.”
“Nothing in heaven or earth will save her. If you fail her.”
Simone wore fairy wings. Butterflies haloed her, flitting in and out of sight at the boundary of the v-effect. And her hair was an ash-blond bob that seamlessly flowed into a sparkling shower of jeweled rain that vanished as it hit the sun-parched pavement.
“Can I have some?”
“You said you weren’t going to use,” Saloni’s voice is wheezy.
...and found himself tossed and tumbling, hooked claws grappling his underbelly, piercing, grasping, lifting him. Above, a gaping reptile mouth grinned its vicious welcome, teeth glinting.
This is not the first time Arno has dropped hints about ‘fetching’ Leandré. What does he mean?
The shadow approaches her window. Dun jacket flapping, stick-thin, intimidatingly insectile AR glasses hiding his face, only stubble and crooked teeth showing. A ghostly praying-mantis. He taps at the glass, and she rolls it down a crack.