Gamma Series by C.C. Kelly

Lets talk about robots for a minute, okay? I think we can all agree that robots are awesome, even when they’re not. I mean, HAL 9000 anyone? Awesome, even if he is a little murderous and also just an ominous red lens. Science fiction has run the gambit of good robots, evil robots, and complete benign robots. Fundamentally, those stories are about how we as people interact with technology, which is there anything that could be more timely?

C.C. Kelly’s Gamma Series is also about robots. No, I mean that literally. Its central scene is a conversation about the problems with creating a robot army that won’t kill all humans indiscriminately, as played out by a scientist, the military, and a bumbling idiot senator tasked with overseeing the whole mess.

Fair warning: It can get a little heavy-handed in places. The senator is at times a little too dense, and the scientist can get overly caught-up with his own cleverness. Though having known both types of people in real life, that may actually be accurate and fair. To a point. But that really didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story. It follows its logic (and that of Arthur C. Clark, too).

There is a certain loveliness to the idea of lying to robots to the degree that is done in Kelly’s story. It, again, points to the scientist’s cleverness in his ability to problem solve. And yet, there is the further question of if that really does the trick. Can we still rely on technology if it cannot rely on us? It is questions like this that the story provoked, and it is there where its success lies.

Gamma Series by C.C. Kelly is available as a 99¢ stand alone, or as a part of his collection Mask. As a general note, the stories in Mask do have some lovely interplay with each other, including Gamma Series.

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