My Fair Robot

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Luna Station Quarterly, Issue 017, March 2014

robot-and-girl
“She made robots, and that’s all she did. Robots, robots, robots. Robots day and night.”

“She’s gonna be beautiful,” he said. He was human. I’m human. We were all human. Most of the patronage at the All Alien Cafe is human. Despite it being “all alien.” Anyway…

 

He was really bragging it up. He was designing a robot, and he had some sort of Pygmalian-hubris-God-complex thing going on. It was annoying as all get-out. I had to pick my moment. Continue reading “My Fair Robot”

Meet Archive

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, November 2011


“On the side, I started building sentient models for myself. The fifth one — R5 — was an experiment. Could I build a story-telling robot?”

Archive was telling stories at the corner table when Cobalt Starstrong came in. Cobalt looked at the rapt audience, mostly Heffen refugees, and thought about joining them. Archive was a wonderful storyteller, but Cobalt had heard him before. So, he took a seat at the bar.

“Bring me something I haven’t tried before.” Continue reading “Meet Archive”

The Opposite of Suicide

“Memories started to return to him, but they were not memories of his life as Dennis. They were longer, older memories.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Bards & Sages Quarterly, Volume IV, Issue 3, July 2012


Dennis took a bow and left the stage for his last time. He gripped arms with his brother and fellow band member; they grinned at each other and agreed it had been a good set. Cameras flashed, and fans shoved photos of him, hopefully, his way. He signed a few autographs, kissed a few girls, and made it to his car. This was the life. His job was being famous and adored, maybe singing a little too. When his day’s work was done, he could head over to a party. There was always a party, every night. Tonight, the party was at the docks, on a house boat. It would be good, lots of new stuff to try… and Dennis tried it. Continue reading “The Opposite of Suicide”

We Can Remember It For You Retail

When the jingle finally ended, the voice in his head said, “Six cents have been deposited in your account.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Redstone Science Fiction #26, July 2012


Dylan reached into his pocket and pulled out his last tenner. He didn’t especially feel like drinking coffee, but he thought it’d look strange if he didn’t get something. Charlene ordered a double mocha frappacino and lemon cupcake with cream cheese icing. Dylan got the house coffee. Continue reading “We Can Remember It For You Retail”

“Viewers Like You”

“He liked the show, but he wished keeping his hand on the reader was less necessary. Sometimes, in his own room, Boston didn’t bother with the reader at all.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in The Lorelei Signal, July 2012


“Put your hand back on the reader,” Boston’s mother chided. The boy squirmed but flattened his hand against the panel in the chair’s arm until his presence registered. He liked the show, but he wished keeping his hand on the reader was less necessary. Sometimes, in his own room, Boston didn’t bother with the reader at all. He felt guilty. He knew his mother would be mad if she knew. Continue reading ““Viewers Like You””

A Second Enchanted Evening

His answer made her wish she hadn’t asked. “You know the memory drug I take?”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in M-BRANE SF #30, February 2012


You won’t regret this,” repeated in Bomani’s head over and over again as he made the distance from parked car to back alley door. The bulk of the bass speaker bounced with his pace, and he shifted its weight as he neared the coffee bar’s back entrance. Cradling the speaker between his chest and left arm, Bomani used his right arm to grab the door. He pulled hard, and the heavy gray-metal door swung far enough that he got his back to it before it slammed shut again. The door hit hard, square on his back, but this was his last trip, so Bomani didn’t mind. Continue reading “A Second Enchanted Evening”

The Most Complicated Avatar

“When Ken and I told her we were getting divorced… That’s when she added the tortoise shell. A big green shield covering her avatar’s little back.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2012


It feels strange to me, deep in my stomach, that I can’t find my ten-year-old girl in real life — but that, maybe, I can find her here. Continue reading “The Most Complicated Avatar”

The Screen Savior

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Bards & Sages Quarterly, Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2010

“I speak,” scrolled over the trembling body in simple red. “I speak that I am,” and after a pause, “I am the Screen Savior.”

Twenty-four bit, RGB color swirled, paisley-like on the sleeping monitor. The psychedelic mass of colors did not sleep like the electronic cradle holding them. The colors bulged. They ballooned out from the center of the monitor. The screensaver pattern pulled away from the physical surface forming a new surface, visible but ethereal. Continue reading “The Screen Savior”

Forget Me Not

“She looked sad. But it was a cheerful sad… The kind that hides its tears.”

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Northwest Passages: A Cascadian Anthology, September 2005


His confidence drew her to him. The gleam in his eye said “I can take on the world,” and she believed it. Here was a man who could not fail. She was fascinated, and her fascination endeared her to him.

Michael introduced them, but neither Joan nor Leland bestowed a second glance on Michael all night. Their eyes and conversation were reserved for each other. Continue reading “Forget Me Not”

Little Sandy Starstrong and Her Faithful Robot Dogs

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Beyond Centauri, Issue #35, January 2012


“Only a fool would attack a little girl guarded by a model 6500 Roboweiler.”

“I told you not to feed the dogs scrap metal!” Sandy’s dad said.

TJ coughed a telltale cloud of non-ferrous impurities, and L2D2 was still dulling his shiny alloy teeth on a ragged piece of scrap in the corner. Continue reading “Little Sandy Starstrong and Her Faithful Robot Dogs”