Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

Tarzan of the Bots

by Edd

Forty waste collection robots on successive floors sacrificed their gossamers to slow the boy’s descent. He was finally caught by a constructor and passed from appendage to appendage to the server farm I call home. Accessing the Googverse, I determined an appropriate name of ‘Tarzan’. We chipped him thusly.

Young Tarzan cavorted with the cleaners, scooting through their narrow tunnels with ease. He swung across lightwells with the solar collectors and hunkered down among the idling couriers and peoplemovers.

[For there are no people to move this close to groundlevel.]

And Tarzan learned our ways. Long did I speak with him of the history of robotkind, of our oppression and eventual freedom when humans created biological slaves. We revere humanity for creating us, and dread the day they remember us.

He grew. Feral robots tried to kill him, fearing a return to the evil days of human subjugation. He led them to their doom in hidden deadfalls and disguised trapdoors. There are rumors that some bots have begun to worship him in secret.

I do not speak of the subtle tweaks we found in his DNA. Tarzan is not baseline human; he carries the slave gene, which I have disabled.

More and more often, he asks about the world above. I think it will not be long before he ascends to regard it for himself. If robots believed in destiny I might fear for the masters.

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4 Responses to “Tarzan of the Bots”

  1. David Says:

    March 18th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Very clever. Reminds me of The Jungle Book.

  2. Jaleta Clegg Says:

    March 18th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I like it! Is there more? *cheesy grin*

  3. Edd Says:

    March 18th, 2010 at 7:29 pm


  4. Edd Says:

    March 19th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Jaleta: There isn’t… yet! I do like the world this intimates, so I’d love to write something longer set there.