Monday, September 24, 2012

Singing androids and Lisa with Child

Lisa with Child - A Novella had another good weekend in the Kindle store, pushing up to #12 on the list for free techno-thrillers and staying on the front page for that sub-genre for 48 hours. That was definitely a nice boost for the writer ego. So, in celebration of the occasion here's a link to Bj√∂rk's gorgeous electronica video of singing female robots, All is Full of Love.

This clip never fails to draw me in, in part because it comes close to animating the essence of what I was striving to express when I wrote the final draft of the short, "Lisa with Child". Namely a synthetic entity who is both very human and who is very obviously a machine. Someone who is capable of an intensely warm and loving relationship that is rooted in how she came into existence. A relationship that is an unusual variant of the love that humans can have between one another--symbiotic rather than romantic, and expressed in how she mirrors the person she is connected to with both her heart and her mind.

In "Lisa with Child" that relationship is also an evolving one. Originally Lisa was intended to be an extension of her partner's intentions. She and her fellow Williams types were meant to be reliable, covert combat systems in age in which self-reproducing weapons systems have been used to create mass tragedies, and in which a weapon platform going rogue is a very real concern. Thus she was built to incorporate the well being and motivations of her partner, CIA field operative Karin, into the core of her own existence as an entity of thought and emotions.

It's relationship that takes an unusual turn when the threats that confront Karin come from within rather than without, after her forced retirement. The catalyst of conflicting priorities when faced with a self-destructive Karin pushes Lisa to evolve in an unexpected direction that both actualizes her need to preserve her identity while saving Karin and acknowledging Karin's future mortality at the same time. It's an evolution that sets the stage for the events of Lisa and Kim, which looks the tensions and joys found in a similar bond shared awkwardly and unevenly between three individuals, as well as the potential for tragedy that results when the symbiotic connection between one of Lisa's sibling Williams types and his owner goes disastrously awry.


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