• Round: Books: Page 1 Challenge

  • Genre:
    Fiction: Sci Fi/Fantasy
  • Submitted: July 23, 2013


Status: Elevated to Round 2

  • Want it elevated: 57%
  • Publishing Pro Rating: Under review.
  • 0%


  • 12%


  • 31%


  • 51%


  • 6%


% want it elevated


Page 1 Challenge


In the aftermath of a terrible war, mankind is still rebuilding. The automatons, thinking computers, are branded as a staple of peace, but the machines are quickly approaching superintelligence. Born into this strange new world, Nadine Eberhart faces the evolution of humanity  — and its children.

Page 1

She was ecstatic, I remember. The robots, the self-inventing machines, had only been around for five years at that point. Five years since the first spark of superhuman intellect. Five years of relentless, impossible progress. Five years, and my mother couldn’t wait for the future.

“Things are changing, Nina!” She gestured toward the Thinking Machine, a screen mounted to the wall of our apartment lobby. The technicians had installed it just the other day, part of an upgrade to the complex. But it wasn’t an upgrade; the Thinking Machine was the complex. No need for managers, no need for human maintenance. TM240143 ran the building by itself.

“Is it smart?” I asked, peering at the screen. Underneath ran plumbing diagnostics, sociological analyses, round-the-clock surveillance monitors of the entire apartment system. On the surface, it was blank.

“Smart enough,” my mother smiled. “It’s built to manage the building, but the techs say it has a limited intelligence.”


She laughed. “Well, limited for an automaton. It’s much smarter than we are.”

We held hands and called the elevator down. I’d heard that elevators were run by lift men, a long, long time ago. Before the War. Before the automatons. Maybe, I thought, maybe then mothers had told their little girls that some day, one day, elevators would run automatically. And the little girls had nodded and looked at the lift men and wondered.

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