On a Mission to Disable a Gigantic Robot: Tangent Online on “The Ambient Intelligence” by Todd McAulty

On a Mission to Disable a Gigantic Robot: Tangent Online on “The Ambient Intelligence” by Todd McAulty

Lightspeed Magazine Issue 125 October 2020-smallIt’s been a while since I’ve been reviewed at Tangent Online, so it was a delight to find a review of my Lightspeed story “The Ambient Intelligence,” written by Tara Grimravn.

Due to a mysterious government program called the Deep Temple Project, the water in Lake Michigan has been steadily boiling away. Its shoreline is now little more than a series of mudflats and interconnected stagnant pools that go on for at least a mile before one reaches the water. Barry Simcoe is on a mission by AGRT, an international peacekeeping organization, to disable a gigantic robot destroying large portions of Chicago and killing its citizens. According to his friend Zircon Border, it was spotted coming and going from the exposed remains of an old shipwreck. In order to do this, Simcoe must navigate the treacherous bog that is now the lakebed and try to disable his opponent before it can kill him.

McAulty’s SF story is a great read. It takes a little while to get to the more exciting bits, but that’s necessary to give the reader enough background to understand what’s happening and why. The ending doesn’t disappoint either. The characters are quite well-done, and I especially liked the interactions between Simcoe and True Pacific. Give this one a read!

“The Ambient Intelligence” appeared last month in Lightspeed magazine, and it’s free to read online. It’s published under the name Todd McAulty, the name all my stories appeared under in Black Gate magazine all those years ago. It’s the story of Canadian Barry Simcoe and his robot friend Zircon Border, who face off against a mysterious 60-ton killer robot hiding in a shipwreck on the shores of Lake Michigan… one that’s hiding a very big secret. It shares a setting (and two characters) with my debut novel The Robots of Gotham, but it’s not otherwise related to that book, and stands completely on its own.

Read “The Ambient Intelligence” in its entirety here. And if you enjoy it, why not help support Lightspeed with a subscription? Six-months subs will run you just $17.94, for more than 50 stories — a whopping 350,000 words of fiction. It’s one of the true bargains in the field.

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