This is the commencement of the podcasting of a new story, I, Robot, which was originally published in The Infinite Matrix, is slated for reprint in several of the Year’s Best anthologies, and is a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette. It’s a riff on Asimov’s robots stories, in which only one kind of robot is allowed — I tried to use this to show how such a world would be one of universal, totalitarian Broadcast Flags, technology mandates that restrict innovation and liberty.
Arturo Icaza de Arana-Goldberg, Police Detective Third Grade, United North American Trading Sphere, Third District, Fourth Prefecture, Second Division (Parkdale) had had many adventures in his distinguished career, running crooks to ground with an unbeatable combination of instinct and unstinting devotion to duty.
He’d been decorated on three separate occasions by his commander and by the Regional Manager for Social Harmony, and his mother kept a small shrine dedicated to his press clippings and commendations that occupied most of the cramped sitting-room of her flat off Steeles Avenue.
No amount of policeman’s devotion and skill availed him when it came to making his twelve-year-old get ready for school, though.
“Haul ass, young lady – out of bed, on your feet, shit-shower-shave, or I swear to God, I will beat you purple and shove you out the door jaybird naked. Capeesh?”
The mound beneath the covers groaned and hissed. “You are a terrible father,” it said. “And I never loved you.” The voice was indistinct and muffled by the pillow.
“Boo hoo,” Arturo said, examining his nails. “You’ll regret that when I’m dead of cancer.”
The mound – whose name was Ada Trouble Icaza de Arana-Goldberg – threw her covers off and sat bolt upright. “You’re dying of cancer? is it testicle cancer?” Ada clapped her hands and squealed. “Can I have your stuff?”