Sexbots: Not What You Expected


Some time ago, I set out to write a story about sexbots. Or rather, a sexbot. It did not go as I expected. The voice insisted (repeatedly) on being different that what I envisioned, and I have multiple drafts to attest to my attempts to get it to behave otherwise. The narrative also fought me, hemming and hawing, and wandering off in false directions just to mess with me.

Once I finally wrangled the story into some semblance of, um, story, the reaction from my critique group ranged from “Did someone dare you to use this title?” to “I thought I was going to hate this, but I didn’t.” Ultimately, what the group mostly seemed to agree on was the story wasn’t what they expected it to be.

I can live with that.

Conventional wisdom says the story should never have found a home. Editors don’t like stories in the second person. Editors don’t like stories that don’t really end. As it turns out, at least one editor was willing to take a chance on my story (thank you, Neil!), and it found a good home in the March Issue of Clarkesworld.

I can live with that, too.

Even if it wasn’t my original intention, which was clearly muddy to begin with, what I may have been going for was a story to defy expectations. (Or that’s my claim, and I’m sticking to it!) So, love it or hate it, I hope my story about sexbots wasn’t the story you were expecting to read.

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