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Author's Commentary: "Telescope"

So here we are in Cincinnati! Wow, what a week. After I had to cut into my Friday to finish up with the fifth Misfits installment, I had to hustle to get this story out in time. I also had to work on my voice a bit to ensure that the same thing wouldn’t happen again. I am not nearly as far along with on that front as I’d like to be, but I have a plan and I’m moving in the right direction. If anyone is interested, this fellow has been very helpful. I will likely find a way to give him a shout out on the channel if I continue to trend in a positive direction. But I’m super relieved to have gotten the story out on time this week.

This week, we went back in time and space a bit to Charris, where all these crazy folks from the Battery emigrated from. We’d talked about Charris, particularly in “Legacy,” where the culture of colonization was on display in Heder Floriston’s fleet. This week, we got to go there, though I don’t quite feel like the place took center stage in the way Athos does in some stories or Port Cullen did in that eponymous story. But, as some clever readers/listeners have pointed out, these blanks can’t all get fully filled in at once. I’m sure it won’t be our last visit to Charris.

So the interesting thing that caught my interest in this story stems a bit from the conversation that Transom had a few weeks back with Maícon Prime. I was thinking about the relationship that humans might develop with “immortal” AIs, and how they would have an interesting view of humans (if they choose to view us at all). In this case, Delius is a narrow AI, programmed to perform the function of a parole officer for our protagonist. Of course, they’ll never be able to forget anything about their time alongside us, unless they choose to. So a parole bot assigned to a pretty significant figure coming up from a difficult time in his life would have a crystal-clear perspective on that person’s life. So I made the AI the narrator. Then he’ll have a thousand years to ponder his perspectives on the next 1000 people he interacts with in that way. I suppose it’s not too unlike how humans outlive their dogs and cats (though not 1-to-1 analogous obviously). In reality, this may not be more than a hypothetical question, because if we survive AI’s advent, I’m sure it won’t be long before they or we solve the aging problem. Then there’s a whole different conversation.

Well, now that we miraculously got ourselves to Cincinnati, I’m not sure where to go except the next Cincinnati. See you next week in Cincinnati!

Thanks for reading!


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