Disposal

By David Scholes

sfgenreThe small, servile bot made an apprehensive approach. It hauled one of those ubiquitous, transparent — currently empty — anti-grav containers.

On arrival at our front aperture it introduced itself and launched into an insincere spiel, causing me to doubt whether its usual standard emotion chips were operational.

It repeated the short spiel as it entered our abode, and reiterated it over and over while shuffling its cargo into the transparent container. I wondered if the bot’s voice had an off button.

They could at the very least have used an opaque container, I thought to myself. Yet I knew there was nothing to be gained by remonstrating. It was what it was.

“Disintegration, ionisation, molecular disruption —” the bot went painstakingly down the list. What is your preference?”

“How about the good old fashioned way?” I asked, hands in the air.
“Oh, that’s not done anymore!” said the previously obsequious little bot. To me it seemed uppity, even to the point of reproof.

Finally, it shuffled off — the bot’s container, with visible cargo now inside, in tractor-beam tow.

It took one of the slow moving walkways often used by the elderly. That seemed appropriate. Further down the walkway several others of its kind moved along with their containers also in tow.

It was early morning and fortunately, in these days of non-privacy, just a few less peering eyes about to witness events. Doubtless though, the constantly operating video cams could supply 3-D vids later to the neighbourhood snoops.

I’m an old man and my mind wandered back to earlier times; to the days when we actually buried or cremated our dead, and had grand church services to honour them with friends and family.

So much for human dignity.

Now nothing more than the luxury of a bygone era.

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About The Author

David Scholes

david-scholesDavid has written over 180 short stories and published eight collections of short storiesand two novellas in the 9 years he has been writing speculative fiction. All of these books are on Amazon.

He has been a regular contributor to the AntipodeanSF, Beam Me Up PodCast, and Farther Stars Than These sites. He has also been published on a variety of other sci-fi sites including Bewildering Stories, 365 Tomorrows, the WiFiles, and the former GoldenVisions magazine.

He is currently well progressed with a new science fiction novella expected to be published later this year.

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Coming In Issue 232

An Angelic Interview With Saltbush Bill
by Wes Parish

Daughter Of The Sea
By George Nikolopoulos

Entrepreneur
By Eugen M. Bacon

Executive Reward
By David Scholes

Filesurfer
By Simon Pinkerton

Good Intentions
By Simon Petrie

Mighty Mouth
By Tony Owens

New Moon Madness
By Kim Rose

The Broken Clock
By Sue Clennell

Universal Behaviour
By Benjamin Hayes

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AntipodeanSF October 2018

ISSUE 231

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

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SF News

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SCIENCE FICTION: A POSITIVE SOCIAL INFLUENCE

Take a listen to Dr. Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist on Radio National’s “Big Ideas” with Paul Barclay, who sums up Finkel’s speech in the following way:

“Our future leaders and policy makers should read more science fiction…scifi can be useful for the building of a good society.”

You can find the program audio here: <http://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgM7rLEl26>, originally broadcast on ABC Radio National on Tuesday September 19 2017.

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SF Quote

Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.

Isaac Asimov