Narrative Transport. The official Michael Pryor website.

November23rd

I know I’m not alone when I say that I can’t wait for the day when robots are everywhere, making life easy for us so we can lie on the beach or sleep in until noon or apply stucco to walls or whatever we’d like to do if it wasn’t for work getting in the way.

Having said that, I fully understand that this period of bliss will be followed by the inevitable Robot Uprising. It’s not surprising, when you think about it, that a time of unlimited labour-saving devices taking care of our every whim will be followed by a nightmarish hell when the robots, en masse, turn on their masters. It’s unavoidable, really.

So being the sort who likes to plan ahead, mostly by scribbling ideas on Post-it Notes and then forgetting about them until they turn up on the sole of my shoe, I thought I’d share my three best ways to prepare for the Robot Uprising.

  1. Know Your Enemy. If the world of movies is any guide, robots will come in all shapes and sizes. While you’re lying back in your hammock and wondering if an umbrella or a spray of tropical flowers would look better in your coconut shell encased refreshment, don’t forget to inspect your RoButler or Steel Stephen or whatever your metal slave is called. Look for weak spots. Test its reflexes by dropping your sunglasses in its path. Try to confuse it with contradictory demands. Your life may depend on it.
  2. Get fit. Don’t worry, this is relative. All you have to do is to be able to run faster than your neighbour when the hordes of angry, chrome-plated insurgents come down your street. The key here is to keep an eye on your Gym-O-Rama Personal Training ‘bot. Fitness, in the hands of your robot underlings, can be dangerous. While you’re putting in those kilometres on that treadmill with Artificial Intelligence, it’s a perfect opportunity to propel you through the third storey window. Strapping yourself into an enhanced exercise bike is just asking for trouble. I think you can imagine the mayhem when weights machines run amuck.
  3. Find a Refuge. When it comes, this machine-made Armageddon will require some speedy residential relocation. You’ll no doubt have noticed that some canny Real Estate agents are already advertising remote properties as ‘Perfect for the Robot Uprising!’ but you need to get out and about. Bring back the Sunday drive as you embark on scoping expeditions. Look for places easy to defend, perhaps surrounded by water. Smack bang in the middle of a swamp is good, as the mud plays hell with robot moving parts, but may have a few drawbacks like malaria to contend with. Don’t discount an underwater refuge, but most of these have been snapped up by Master Criminals and Evil Overlords so they may be in short supply.

With some preparation and a little care, the upcoming Robot Uprising needn’t inconvenience you at all. A few simple precautions such as I’ve outlined will help you survive the reign of terror that our once trusted servants will wreak upon us, where civilisation will crumble and fire will most likely fall from the heavens. Good luck!

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