Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Associate Editor


Baby Wars
by Eric Del Carlo

by Kurt Heinrich Hyatt

Genocide in Three Acts
by Jenny Duptsi

Memory Farm
by Richard Wren

Schrödinger’s Suicide
by Daniel Roy

Chandler’s Hollow
by Sean Patrick Hazlett

Test Case
by Kris Ashton

Pink Adventure 87
by Gregor Hartmann

Shorter Stories

by Robin Wyatt Dunn

Dropping Payload
by Mord McGhee

Breaking the 3 Laws
by Trevor Doyle


Sex and a Sensawunda
by Ann Gimpel

Sunshine 2: the Sequel
by Eric M. Jones



Comic Strips




Breaking the 3 Laws

By Trevor Doyle

RENOWNED RECORDING ARTIST AND pop star BZ was found dead today in his Manhattan penthouse apartment. BZ, whose real name was William Terrence Hall, won a Grammy for his hit single, “Zzzzzz,” but had trouble getting back in the groove after a number of scandals broke that were tied to his unusual sexual practices and his refusal to pay child support to his former wife and one-time manager, Candy Wallins. Police say that they have no suspects at this time, but they are searching for an AI-Nine robot that was seen leaving Mr. Hall’s building minutes before his body was discovered. The AI-Nines are the newest line of labor saving, cognizant robots from the AI Corporation, and the series is considered to be the company’s crowning achievement in artificial intelligence research.


A shocking development now in the murder of William Terrence Hall, the artist formerly known as BZ. Candy Wallins, Mr. Hall’s estranged wife, had to be hospitalized last night after she was electrocuted by an AI-Nine robot that has since been apprehended by police. Ms. Wallins is said to be in stable condition; her three children, who were placed in foster care after their mother left them alone for more than twenty-four hours with the family’s pet koala, are reportedly by her side, cheering her on toward a speedy recovery. No word yet on whether the AI-Nine robot that is in police custody is the same robot that was seen leaving Mr. Hall’s penthouse at the time of his death, but we have been told that the AI Corporation is cooperating fully with the authorities.


Another bizarre twist today in the murder of William Terrence Hall, the recording artist formerly known as BZ. Mr. Hall’s longtime business associate and confidante, celebrity chef Chazz Jackson, has been murdered in his Long Island home. Mr. Jackson, whose culinary creations fell out of favor after he embezzled millions from his own chain of restaurants to fund his outrageously lavish lifestyle, was found by one of his many live-in girlfriends after he’d been eviscerated by an AI-Nine robot that he purchased last week. Surveillance video shows the robot committing this heinous crime, and the robot in question was apprehended by police after it tried to board an American Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles. In a statement released an hour ago, the AI Corporation announced that it will be beaming out a software patch for the AI-Nine series and emphatically denied a preliminary report which suggested that the company’s robots could be reprogrammed as weapons of vengeance or as potential assassins.


Breaking news out of Los Angeles tonight that has police there, as well as engineers at the AI Corporation, scratching their heads. Three AI-Nine series robots, apparently operating independently of one another, allegedly stalked and then harassed contestants of a reality show that was once hosted by Chazz Jackson, who was murdered by another AI-Nine robot in New York. Each of the three contestants—Barbara Wanton, Ox Fulls, and Amy Prince—maintained a high profile after they left Mr. Jackson’s show with vulgar antics that drew condemnation from the general public and, in some cases, even bought them scorn from their own fans. Although none of these minor stars were harmed yesterday, only two of the robots that were involved have been rounded up by police, and the AI Corporation continues to resist calls from state and federal agencies to send out deactivation codes to all of their series Nine bots. AI’s CEO, Harvey Bellingham, says that his company is working hard to correct the problem that it’s having with its newest line of super-intelligent machines.


More bad news for the AI Corporation this morning after reports surfaced that legendarily outspoken actress Barbie Tims, whose career peaked after a sex tape was released showing her engaging in lewd and possibly unlawful acts with her golden retriever, has been kidnapped by six AI-Nine robots whose location beacons have been turned off. At this time, the robots have made no demands, and police are on the lookout for the white delivery van that the robots were driving when they abducted Ms. Tims. The AI Corporation now admits that its series Nine robots may pose a threat to the public and is asking that all AI-Nines be returned to their points of purchase for immediate decommissioning.


There is widespread panic in Los Angeles tonight as AI-Nine robots all over Hollywood have apparently run amok. In fifty-three different incidents, these malfunctioning and dangerous bots have been accused of, or are being held responsible for, acts of attempted murder, kidnapping, and grand larceny; so far, all of the victims of these attacks have been current or former celebrities, but police are worried that the robots might begin to attack members of the population at large at any time, and they are asking everyone in LA to obey the curfews that have been put in place by the Mayor there.

Also tonight, a scientist who worked on the AI-Nine series, Dr. Adam Golonokiewicz, is attracting a lot of attention for his jaw-dropping claim that we are all witnessing the next leap in the evolution of robot consciousness. According to Dr. Golonokiewicz, these robots are making moral value judgments, on their own, regarding the celebrities that they’ve attacked. The problem apparently stems from the fact that the robots have downloaded a great deal of information about these celebrities from the Internet, including not only any past scandals that they may have been tied to but their habits and their whereabouts as well.

What this might mean for the residents of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, if Dr. Golonokiewicz is correct, isn’t entirely clear, but computer scientists outside of the AI Corporation say that if Dr. Golonokiewicz is right, we should be able to jam the AI-Nines’ wireless links or release what’s referred to as a “sweeper” virus, which would eliminate any and all references to living celebrities that are currently posted on the Internet. In a follow up statement released this afternoon, Dr. Golonokiewicz addressed these ideas by describing the process by which the AI-Nines make up their minds and said that short of total annihilation, there wasn’t any way to prevent the robots from harming any more celebrities—if they think it’s in their best interests to do so.


The body of former actress and animal rescue activist Barbie Tims was found today in a reservoir outside of Los Angeles. The cause of death has yet to be determined, but authorities in charge of the investigation are assuming that the robots who kidnapped Ms. Tims also ended her life. The AI Corporation called Ms. Tims’ death “a grievous tragedy” but stopped short of taking responsibility for it.


The hills of Hollywood are on fire tonight, burning in eighteen separate blazes that have the Los Angeles Fire Department struggling to protect homes and estates from this latest round of robot violence. We’re also getting fresh video in now of the battles that are raging between gangs of AI-Nine robots and units of the National Guard that have been deployed in an effort to keep the nation’s celebrities safe, and, in an even more stunning development, we’ve just seen pictures and movies posted online by the AI-Nines themselves, images and video which show the robots assaulting some of our favorite and not-so-favorite stars. In one of these clips, the AI-Nines make the bold claim that they are trying to turn the world into “a slightly more beautiful place” by ridding it of the celebrities whom they’ve targeted.

Dr. Adam Golonokiewicz, a scientist who worked on the AI-Nine series at the AI Corporation, has posted links to these photos and videos on his own web site, and he is actively urging every man, woman, and child in America to go online now to comment on the robots’ latest posts. According to Dr. Golonokiewicz, we all have a moral duty to tell these robots exactly what we think of them and what they’ve done to us.


Aided by the United States military, the AI Corporation launched a covert operation early this morning against the rebellious AI-Nine robots that have wreaked havoc all across Los Angeles. After AI airdropped several hundred of their newest robots, members of the AI-Twelve series, into the rogue robots’ camps, fighting broke out, and the AI-Twelves immediately gained the upper hand. Authorities who wish to remain anonymous have told us that the AI-Twelves, upon initialization, accessed the Internet and absorbed everything they could about the AI-Nines, who were deemed, by the Twelves, to be both immoral and outmoded—a machine species that deserved to be destroyed.


Some good news today out of Los Angeles as the last of the deadly AI-Nine robots is dismantled at an AI subsidiary in California. The AI-Twelve robots that ended the crisis which left Hollywood with scars that it will bear for years remain docile and dutiful, and Dr. Golonokiewicz, the scientist at the AI Corporation who programmed the AI-Twelves, is being hailed as a hero.

In a related story, film and television producers around the country are mourning the loss of a number of high profile celebrities who were slated to appear in projects that were in the planning stages but had not yet commenced shooting. Some of these producers have gathered together in the hopes of holding a national talent competition to fill these casting gaps, a competition that they are calling “The Stars of Tomorrow.”

Entry forms for the initial audition are available online, and no previous acting experience or stage credentials are required.

Robots, however, are ineligible to apply. END

Trevor Doyle holds advanced degrees in computer science and has worked both as a computer programmer and as a technical writer for a major software development company. He lives with his wife and his two dogs in western New York.