Tag Archives: Lois Sapngler

Love, Murder & Mayhem: Read it Now: A Matter of Principle

Lois Spangler’s “A Matter of Principle” is a future-set AI-inspired noir which asks: What if the murder centered around the affection and respect shown by a human to an android? What if that human treated this android like family? And what if other members of the family were not at all happy with that?

For answers, here’s an early look:

A Matter of Principle
By Lois Spangler

Dani emerged from the squad car, red and blue light reflecting faintly off the ambulatory AI’s pale blue synth-skin. It was just after 4 a.m., Sunday night to Monday morning, and a quiet time for this historic district and its flagship bar, Olivares.

“Morning, detective,” an older woman said to Dani. The woman’s sleeve bore the chevrons of extended police department service. Her nameplate read Garza. Beside her was P. O. Thurston, young and fresh out of the academy.

The look of awe in Thurston’s eyes was unmistakeable.

“Good morning,” Dani replied.

Garza jerked a thumb at the younger officer. “This is Roy Thurston. It’s his first week.” Continue reading

Love, Murder & Mayhem – When My Brain Goes Future Noir

By Lois Spangler

Listen: the moment you utter science fiction and love, murder, and mayhem all in the same breath, my brain immediately goes future-noir. And future-noir bubbles up in my mind as a cyberpunk detective story.

Great! A detective tries to solve a murder whose motives lie in love. But that’s a broad canvas, with all kinds of variables. So I thought about the love angle. Romance immediately came to mind, but I’d just seen a run of old films with the usual detective-dame dynamic, and to be completely honest, I’ve never tried romance—I haven’t had the guts. So I thought about other kinds of love, and the bonds of family came immediately to mind.

Another topic that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is artificial intelligence, and robots in general. A few years ago, a friend of mine helped put together an interactive installation that was all about the common cultural perceptions of robots and how humans are learning to respond to them, and the problems that arise from a dearth of empathy for things that can be dismissed as mere machines. Continue reading