Posts Tagged ‘Solaris Book of New Science Fiction’

Evil Robot Monkey

I have three version of Evil Robot Monkey to offer for your consideration as one of the Hugo nominees for Short Story.  It was originally published in the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, vol. 2 edited by George Mann.

You may download a pdf of “Evil Robot Monkey“, illustrated by me. I do layout the way other people doodle and made this while I was waiting for the announcement to go live.

Or you could listen to me read it. Six minutes of science-fiction.

Evil Robot Monkey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Edited to add: Andrew Neely very kindly converted the audio to an M4B (iTunes audiobook) version.

Or, you can skip after the cut and read the story right here.

Continue reading ›

Audio: Evil Robot Monkey

Evil Robot Monkey first appeared in the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, volume 2. To test a new microphone, ((A Blue Snowball mic, which I think I might love)) I decided to record this because it is darn short.

Here you go. Six minutes of science-fiction.

[audio:http://maryrobinettekowal.com/audio/evilrobotmonkey.mp3]

Sliding his hands over the clay, Sly relished the moisture oozing around his fingers. The clay matted down the hair on the back of his hands making them look almost human. He turned the potter’s wheel with his prehensile feet as he shaped the vase. Pinching the clay between his fingers he lifted the wall of the vase, spinning it higher.

Someone banged on the window of his pen. Sly jumped and then screamed as the vase collapsed under its own weight. He spun and hurled it at the picture window like feces. The clay spattered against the Plexiglas, sliding down the window.

Creative Commons License
The audio version of “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Based on a work at www.solarisbooks.com.

SF Signal review The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume 2

SF Signal The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume 2 edited by George Mann and gives it an overall favorable rating.

Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Evil Robot Monkey” is an affecting snapshot in the life of a chimp with an implant in his head that increases his intelligence. Unfortunately for him, that lands him in the “hellish limbo” of being “too smart to be with other chimps, but too much of an animal to be with humans.” He becomes the subject of ridicule of children in what is presumably a school where he spends his time behind a pottery wheel. The interesting premise is delicately overlaid with emotion by having a single human show the chimp some compassion, resulting in a quick-and-dirty sf short story that is both charming and memorable.

The Guardian reviews Solaris Book of New SF

The Guardian has a review of Solaris’s Book of New Science Fiction which opens with this line.

Early in 2007 the science-fiction imprint Solaris marked its launch with The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction. A year later, editor George Mann returns with a follow-up, this time featuring strong stories from Kay Kenyon, Michael Moorcock, Mary Robinette Kowal, Eric Brown and others.

I’m so stunned that all I can see is “stories from celebrity, celebrity, me, celebrity…”

Solaris Book of New Science Fiction

SolarisSo, that box the post office tried to deliver yesterday wasn’t Shimmer.

It contained my contributor copies The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, volume two. Keen!

I want to give a shout out Mike Munsil, who created Liberty Hall Writers, an online group that does weekly flash challenges. My story, “Evil Robot Monkey” came out of one of those. Each weekend, you get a trigger and then have an hour and a half to write a story.

The story itself is sort of the product of two triggers. See, at Shimmer we have a running gag which stemmed from when we were testing the submission system. Beth sent in a trial submission called “Harry Potter and the Evil Robt Monkeys!” ((The misspelling is intentional. You’d be amazed by how many people send in stories with misspellings within the first five lines.)) Brilliant. I decided that whatever the trigger was, my story would have that title. The trigger itself was a piece of clockwork art.

Here’s the first bit of the story.

Sliding his hands over the clay, Sly relished the moisture oozing around his fingers. The clay matted down the hair on the back of his hands making them look almost human. He turned the potter’s wheel with his prehensile feet as he shaped the vase. Pinching the clay between his fingers he lifted the wall of the vase, spinning it higher.

You can see that I kept the hairy potter.

Sold! – “Evil Robot Monkey” to Solaris

Solaris has purchased my short story “Evil Robot Monkey” for The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume 2.

I couldn’t be more pleased. I had a long chat with the Solaris gentlemen, George Mann and Christian Dunn, at Readercon about robot monkeys. It was bar conversation, but I just happened to have this short called “Evil Robot Monkey” and on a whim I sent it over thinking they would get a laugh out of the title.

I didn’t realize that they were actively reading for an anthology.

Behold! A sale. Remember back when I was watching the paint dry and said I had three good things I couldn’t mention yet? This is number 2.

Here’s a teaser snippet of the first few lines for you.

Sliding his hands over the clay, Sly relished the moisture oozing around his fingers. The clay matted down the hair on the back of his hands making them look almost human. He turned the potter’s wheel with his prehensile feet as he shaped the vase. Pinching the clay between his fingers he lifted the wall of the vase, spinning it higher.

I’ll let you know when the book is available for pre-order.