Last night’s Mad Men made mention of Ken Cosgrove’s prolific and ongoing sci-fi and fantasy-writing career, and though somewhere someone is no doubt firing up an angry keyboard to insist we refer to this genre as “speculative fiction,” the more important issue is that a person has decided to help write Ken’s story “X-4,” or the one about “the woman who lays eggs” so that the citizens of today may also enjoy the goofy robofiction of imaginary yesteryear. Indeed, no lesser disciple than Damon Lindelof is heeding the call to produce the canon of Ben Hargrove, robot-writer extraordinaire. “If I can’t read ‘The Punishment of X-4’ immediately, I’m gonna write it myself,” he tweeted last night. Here’s what he wrote:
DATE OF INCIDENT: 14 Sagittarius, 2785. LOCATION: Aristophanes Interplanetary Span (“The A Bridge”) CAUSE: Automaton Malfunction.
“Let the transcript reflect the Supervisor cites artificial responsibility.”
“Comrade… you understand that by doing so, The Code requires the presence of an Artificial Intellect for these proceedings?”
“Nephytus, while rich in Gallium, offers a hostile atmosphere and no naturally occurring source of fresh water.”
“The solution seemed obvious… create a commuter colony that would work on Nephytus, but live on Aton.”
“Comrade, in your own words, explain to us the history and function of the Aristophanes Span.”
“The X-4 has a purely binary function. Insert. Or Remove.”
Somewhere, Paul Kinsey feels so, so jealous.