Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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22 August 2015


It takes little to imagine a future in which self-replicating machines replace humans. These traditionally take the form of revolutions, the A.I.s wiping us out with glowing, merciless eyes; but, we might just as easily go gently. I find myself imagining the diary of the last human on some distant world, wondering whether his life meant anything, regretting, hoping, wondering whether he is the last. And, of course, he is.

"Sunset" captures much the same emotion, but one step removed. The human age has long passed. Here, an artificial intelligence built solely for creative writing, a creaky, rusty little bucket named Critid, faces the sunset of his life.

Critid represents the human legacy. Although the machines have now long ruled alone, there yet remained something of our passion, our insanity, stamped on their designs; but, time barrelled on. Those who bore this mark yearly cluttered the recycling bins until, now, only Critid survives.

The story chronicles his final minutes, a sorry farewell as all life takes one more step toward oblivion. Like a human might, he wonders what purpose beauty held, what meaning life. His questions go unanswered.

Unfortunately, science fiction is ultimately incapable of hope. Critid's sentiments, even as they stir up inexpressible thoughts, serve only to aggravate our suspicion that science fiction is fantasy.

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015