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Semi-Autonomous or ‘For Whom The Warranty Tolls
By Jim Kling
Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. Leave a message and I will have him return your call.
Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. He will be hosting his birthday party on Saturday night. If you plan to attend, press ‘one’ and then speak your name. I will add you to the guest list. Otherwise, leave a message and I will make sure he receives it.
Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. My records indicate that you have previously RSVP’d for the Saturday night party. Please indicate your alcohol preference. For beer, press ‘one.’ For wine, press ‘two.’ For mixed drinks, press ‘three.’ If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, press ‘four.’ This information will be used for ordering purposes only, transmitted through my wireless connection to Jim’s refrigerator, which in turn is linked to an online grocery. For more information about AutonomInc’s SmartAppliance line, please view our web site at www.autonominc.com. “AutonomInc: We give a whole new meaning to housework!” If you have a message for Jim, please leave it now.
About the Author
Jim Kling is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience writing about topics ranging from biotechnology, to astrophysics, to archeology.
His credits include WebMD, The Washington Post, Scientific American, Technology Review, Science Magazine, and even newsletters of the Harvard Business School.
About the Narrator
Rachel Swirsky was a founding editor of PodCastle, along with Ann Leckie.
Rachel’s short stories have appeared in Tor, Subterranean Magazine, and Clarkesworld, and been reprinted in year’s best anthologies edited by Strahan, Horton, Dozois, and the VanderMeers. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and graduated from Clarion West in 2005.
Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Sturgeon Award. She’s twice won the Nebula Award, in 2010 for her novella, The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window and in 2014 for her short story, If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.