Sex Robots

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I just read an article in the online version of the Sydney Morning Herald, about the development and possible consequences of lifelike intelligent sex robots.

If this prospect interests, excites or appals you, I recommend clicking on this link to read the article and watch the embedded video. I also recommend buying Goldiloxians (The Eeks Trilogy in a single volume) which features sex robots and the practical and ethical complications they may give rise to.

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Musings from Bangkok

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That’s not a very informative title, but I’m posting about two separate things and I happen to be in a transit lounge in Bangkok with a lot of time to spare.

I just came off a flight where I watched a film I’d vaguely heard about and a documentary about the Cassini mission to Saturn. Both affected me to the extent that I want to share.

The film was ‘Downsizing’, starring Matt Damon. It has been described as sci-fi satire but I don’t think that does it justice. The title relates to a scientific breakthrough that reduces people to 1/14 their height, and consequently 1/2744 their volume and mass. The aim is to reduce humankind’s environmental footprint before we destroy our habitat, but it has the side effect of allowing the ‘small people’ to use their savings to buy huge mansions in special resort-like communities and live lives of leisure and luxury.

I want you to see the film, so I won’t say any more – except to laud the actress who was for me the de facto star (see photo). Her name is Hong Chau, born in Thailand of Vietnamese refugee parents and now living in the USA. She plays a Vietnamese activist and amputee and she is superb.

The Cassini documentary starred the gallant little spacecraft itself, which was sacrificed at the end of a spectacularly successful mission. It was vaporised in a fireball in Saturn’s atmosphere, with eerie echoes of ancestral sacrifices to uncaring gods. This sacrifice was necessary to avoid the danger of terrestrial contamination of an environment where life already exists or one day may.

I found myself tearing up, not because of Cassini’s death, but because the whole enterprise showed what our species can do and be at our very very best. NASA had a huge team of specialists, men and women, young and old, from many nationalities. They had a common goal to know, a dedication to science, and no malign intent.

The NASA team’s goodness contrasted starkly with the recent horror in Indonesia where a whole family, young children included, wiped itself out in coordinated murderous attacks. This was a team effort too, but instead of being enthused by science their minds were infected by a perverted ideology that thrives only on ignorance and superstition. This was our species as its very very worst.

The Eeks Trilogy

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I’ve mentioned before that I was writing a science fiction trilogy.  Well, I’ve finished.  More than that, it’s uploaded and for sale!  The first book is called ‘Eeks’ and until the end of 2015 it’s FREE!!  The 2nd and 3rd books (‘Speeks’ and ‘Squidgies’) are priced at US$2.99.  You can find them all at Smashwords.  Just click on these links:

Book 1 – Eeks

Book 2 – Speeks

Book 3 – Squidgies

All three book are also available (or will very soon) at Apple iBooks, Barnes&Noble, Diesel eBook Store, Kobo, Scribd, Sony and WHSmith.  Amazon won’t retail free books, so will have to wait until 1 January when the price of ‘Eeks’ goes up to an absurdly low US$0.99.

The books are available only as e-books.  I hope that if sales soar one of the old-style publishers will want to put them into print.  And I’m open to offers for the film rights right now.

By the way, if you’re thinking of writing a book and you’re willing to self-publish it in electronic form, I recommend Smashwords.  Their website is… well, it’s the way all websites should be.  And when I had a problem, my written Help! message was answered by email within hours!