SEXY ROBOT MONTH 1.0: “Sexy Robot A Go-Go 5000, or Safe Sex” by Elise R.

Readers Write

Once upon a time, Heather and I were like, “We’re going to drop this mad science fiction issue!” and one of our Twitter followers was like, “I hope there are sexy robots!” and Heather and I were like:

pants down

Fortunately, this selfsame reader, the inimitable Elise R., boldly accepted our challenge to help make right this terrible wrong, and so it is my great pleasure to present the first installation of SEXY ROBOT MONTH, “Sexy Robot A Go-Go 5000, or Safe Sex.”

“Sexy Robot A-Go-Go 5,000” or “Safe Sex”

by Elise R.

“Hey Jim, that’s one sexy robot!” A voice called down from the metal catwalk overhanging the lab.

Jim pushed back a hank of hair from his sweaty forehead and exhaled a sigh of exhaustion as he set a wrench down on his workbench. He gazed above at his TA from the massive concrete floor of the lab. “Thanks Leroy, I’m glad someone thinks she’s sexy. All I can see at this point is the hours of work still ahead of me. At this rate, I’ll never finish in time for my Sexy Robotics final exam!”

“She looks pretty good to me. What’s the problem?”

‘Her facade and female simulation are perfect but there’s some sort of weird bug in the Personality Core. I can’t find anything about it in your notes I borrowed either.”

Leroy lightly bounded down the catwalk stairs to the floor of the lab. “Well, why don’t you fire her up? I’ll see if I can troubleshoot!”

Jim slid aside the lucite panel in the robot’s mid-section that protected the glowing personhood modem and lightly sunk his fingertip into the soft plasticine gel to activate the awareness sector.

The robot gasped as she started into consciousness. It was an act programmed in the boilerplate code, but it always unsettling to Jim in its similarity to how his mother used to look when he would wake her up from her nap so she could get started on dinner.

The robot breathed again, this time in an earthy rapturous sigh. “Oh heeeelllloooo Jim, I’m so glad to see you.” Her fingertips lightly tapped the surface of the workbench, leaving tiny dimpled impressions in the galvanized steel surface.

Jim spoke into his pocket recorder. “Trial 27 on Final Project SR 101, Personality Core.” He then turned towards the robot, gently stroking up her arm in a purposeful manner “Now activating personality type, Innocent K-1.”

The robot shivered with pleasure, her movement loosening the rivets holding the steel bench to the lab floor. “Oooh, that feels good, Jim.”

Jim gestured quickly to the personhood modem at the pulsing orange light in the upper right hand of the cavity “See, look at that! And it’s supposed to be in Innocent mode!”

The robot arched her back and gave a low moan as she whispered “Jim, can’t we be alone right now, there are so many things I want us to do right now…sex things, Jim.”

Leroy cleared his throat and said “Welp, it’s not following the Innocent K-1 program, but the main… parts seem to be in order, I can’t see how Professor McCoy can count you off too much for personality in an intro class.”

Jim sighed and said, “That’s only part of it, watch this.”

Jim then leaned into the robot and murmured into its ear while sliding his hand up its inner thigh, “Okay, sweetheart, let’s get started, Level 3 Innocent K-1.”

The robot immediately screamed “JIM! BEFORE MARRIAGE!!!???” Her powerful metal infused arms ripped his lab coat off of his body in shreds and she attempted to cover her sumptuous silicon-coated bosom with the remnants. Jim was thrown backwards from the momentum, his head bouncing off the concrete floor.

“HOLY SHIT!” screamed Leroy.

Jim groaned and dusted himself off as he walked over to pull a fresh lab coat out of the locker. He felt like an average schlub without it. “Yeah, that’s the problem.”

Leroy furrowed his brow, “What about her other personality types?”

Jim sighed again. “Go ahead, be my guest.”

Leroy moved forward and lightly stroked the robot arm again saying, “Now activating personality type Dominatrix L-2.”

Just as Jim started to scream out “No!” the robot lurched forward, ripped Leroy’s arm out of his socket and firmly spanked him on the behind with his detached arm.

“You’ve been soooo naughty,” she chirped as Jim screamed over and over again in horror.

Leroy slumped over onto the floor, his intact arm clutching at the newly made stump.

Jim, numb from the shock, looked at the robot with wide eyes as the robot picked up a metal chain from the workbench and lightly flicked it as if it were a riding crop. The end of the chain zoomed past Jim’s ear and felt relief at the near miss. He didn’t even notice the crowbar until it was too late. Just before the end, he managed to complete the thought, “We should have just bought porn.”
The image of the sexy robot arm swinging a crowbar down across the screen freezes as the voice of an elderly Liam Payne precedes the distinguished looking gentleman who walks into the shot. “This has been very special episode Jim-boy and Leroy’s Robot Adventures. As robotics advance and we approach singularity, one truth remains about mankind. Whatever we create, whatever we innovate; we want to have sex with it. While this is understandable, nay ADMIRABLE, we must also consider safety. If you create a 500 lb metal android and try to have sex with it, things can go wrong. Think safe. Act safe. Always activate the safety switch on your robotic sex android. Jim-boy and Leroy sure wish they did. God bless.”

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Elise writes about ’90s era Christian romance novels with her sister at http://undertherjg.blogspot.com. It gets pretty weird. Follow her on Twitter at @im_not_it

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Want to share a sexy robot story, poem or essay? E-mail your work to broadzine[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line SEXY ROBOTS. (Now through July 31 only.)

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Special Call for Subs (July only): SEXY ROBOTS

Readers Write

svedka-unsexy-robotDear Broads:

IMPORTANT ORDER OF BUSINESS #1: Our sci-fi issue is in the final stages of layout, and it is speculative-tacular. We’re talking lesbian apocalypses, disenfranchised worker classes on spaceships, dream experiments, and a temp job that will make your nails curl. So stay tuned for the launch in early July.

IMPORTANT ORDER OF BUSINESS #2: One of our Twitter followers pointed out that we had somehow failed to include any sexy robot pieces in the issue. To make up for this gross oversight, we’re declaring:

JULY IS SEXY ROBOT MONTH

For the month of July only, we’ll be featuring sexy robot writings on our website–microessays on Ex Machina, HAL 9000 slashfics, sonnets to Number 6. Be campy. Be sexy. Be the future.

Send your stories, art and poems to broadzine[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line SEXY ROBOTS, now through July 31.

Note: Sexy Robots submissions are open to folks of all genders, because love wins, y’all.

image credit: ink361.com

image credit: ink361.com

(Side note: as always, Broad! is averse to the glorification of sexual violence against of any and all genders. Feel free to reach out with questions.)

Submissions are open for the Summer 2015 themed issue: SCI-FI AND THE SPECULATIVE

News

50 foot

You wake up and everyone is gone. You wake up and everyone is your mother. You wake up and your mother is made of sharks. You look into every mirror on earth and see yourself in none. You are living your life backward. You are a dream within a dreams. There are holograms. Clones. Evil clones. Clones that are not really evil but everyone sees them that way but who really would just like to get tea and talk about politics. Overlords. Underlords. Time travel. Space. Meeting your mother in 1965. Apocalypses. Post-apocalypses. Everyone is allergic to gluten now and it is terrible. There are unicorns and the unicorns are angry. Everyone is gay. No one is gay. Gender is dead. Gender is undead. Zombies are everywhere and they are demanding gender. The patriarchy has fallen! Print journalism is alive! The monster under your bed is real. You are the monster. Who is in the bed?

(We want all this and more. Submit.)

Announcements: Pushcarts and Sci-Fi

News

Hey y’all,

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, if you’re American, and a lovely November if you’re not American.

We have some exciting news!  Broad! has nominated five pieces from our 2014 issues for the Pushcart Prize:

“A Tribute to Plums,” Annie Virginia Robertson
“The Willow,” Anna De Vaul
“An Earnest Proposal,” Kirstin Ruth Bratt
“Sunburn,” Katie DePasquale
“Mercenary,” Emily Jaeger

Please join me in congratulating Annie, Anna, Kirstin, Katie, and Emily!

We’re also happy to announce the theme for our Summer 2015 issue: Science Fiction and Speculative!  Send us your wildest futuristic dreams. We reopen for submissions on January 1.

Happy December,
Heather

Call for Submissions, Winter Issue

Uncategorized

Hey everyone!

We’re still looking for submissions to our Winter 2014 issue. No theme this time, so you can send whatever you want. Email us your best fiction, creative nonfiction, poems, artwork or photography to broadzine [at] gmail [dot] com by October 31. Yeah, Halloween. Send us your stuff, then go celebrate your go-getting ambition by going to a party/drinking spooky cocktails/eating all the candy you can.

Love,
Heather

“Mothers” is out!

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Check out our first themed issue over on the Issues page!  We’ve got wonderful, varied work by  Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Joanna Cattonar, Kirstin Ruth Bratt, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Chanel Brenner, Katie DePasquale, Tracy Foy, Emily Jaeger, Noorulain Noor, Cate Blum, Monica Wright, Kathy Rudin, Naima Woods, Laura Jent, Amy Neill Bebergal, Megan Mealor, Susan Martell Huebner, Kim Heikkila, Lori Zimmermann, Athina Pappa, Kaylen Mallard, Julie Howd, Laura Sweeney, Sophia E. Terazawa, Kristen Rouisse, Elizabeth Savage, and Sandra Fees.

Thank you to all our contributors, and to all those who submitted!

Becoming More Inclusive in 2014

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Morning, everyone.

It’s a new year now, and for 2014 Broad! has resolved to be more actively supportive of those who are trans* or otherwise outside the gender binary. When I founded the journal, for lack of a more suitable phrase, I resorted to the language “female-bodied and/or female-identified” to mean that we would publish cis women, trans women, trans men and individuals outside the binary (essentially, anyone who wasn’t a cis man).  However, as our readership––and submitter pool––has grown and diversified, it’s become clear that this terminology isn’t as applicable, fair, or accurate as it needs to be.  Though I had intended Broad! to be a space where non-binary-identified individuals could feel comfortable, it’s come to my attention recently (thanks, T.R.!) that, well, it isn’t.  Not to the extent it should be.  And for that, I am sorry.

I’d like to ask you for feedback on your experiences with Broad!, your suggestions as to how we can become more inclusive in 2014, and any other ideas you might have to throw our way.

This journal is meant to promote and support the work of people whose genders have been (and still are) marginalized, particularly in the publishing world, where their work is either neglected by the mainstream culture––unpublished, unregarded––or demarcated as Other.  We publish people who are not cis men.  Limiting publication to individuals who don’t identify a certain way, however, has its own logistical issues; largely, that a submitter’s gender is often assumed based on the name heading their manuscript.

Since Broad!’s inception, we have received several submissions from cis male authors, all people who either hadn’t read our guidelines closely enough or didn’t care about adhering to them.  In these cases, I used to click on the link the submitter included to his website/Facebook in order to to confirm that he was cis (and thereby exclude his work from our submission pool).  This is not something I am proud of.  While, each time, it turned out that the authors were cis male-identified and blanket-submitting their pieces across publications, that’s not the point: that doesn’t resolve the problem of what to do when a male-identified person (or even someone with a masculine name) submits to our publication.   And it reinforces another problem: the idea that one can “tell” someone’s gender by looking at them.

We should not be policing the gender(s) of others, ever.  Full stop.  Particularly not as a way to promote the demarginalization of other genders.  Submitters who are trans or outside the gender binary should not have to feel as if they have to “out” themselves in their cover letters in order to send us their work.

Any feedback you could give us on making Broad! a better, more inclusive, friendlier place to those who are trans* or otherwise outside the binary would be greatly appreciated.  You can leave your comments here or at our Facebook page, where this will be posted as well.  I hope to hear from you soon.

Announcements!

Heather, News

Hello, gentlepeople!

I’d like to start the new year with some announcements, and a request.

This fall has brought a lot of changes to the Broad! staff.  Two of us moved across the country in the past few months!  I started grad school, while Brittany began an exciting and promising career in literature.  Unfortunately, however, she no longer has the time to devote to Broad! she once did, and she has decided to step down as fiction editor.  We wish her the best of luck in her new job and new city.

Though we’re sad to see Brittany leave her position, we are happy to announce the addition of new fiction editor Kendra Fortmeyer: she’s an excellent writer, a lovely friend, and a recent MFA graduate from UT Austin.  Kendra’s brimming with ideas and I look forward to hearing each one of them.

The major life changes which overtook us this fall have only emphasized the difficulty of running a website and litzine with only three people.  The time commitment Broad! requires has multiplied substantially since its inception––which, while super exciting, is sadly growing unmanageable with the size of our staff.  You may have noticed that Broad! hasn’t been updating this blog as much as we used to do, for example.  I would like to take this opportunity to ask for volunteer readers: people we can send batches of (anononymized) submissions for their recommendations.

Submissions to the journal reopen on January 1.  I’m thrilled to announce that Summer 2014 will be our first themed issue (!!), with a prompt of “mothers.”  Do with that what you will; submissions will be open from January to April 1.  As always, email your subs to broadzine@gmail.com, and guidelines can be found via the Submissions tab above.

We can start sending out submission batches to volunteer readers by mid-January.  If you are interested in volunteering, please send me an email at broadzine@gmail.com with a brief cover letter that includes your name, any relevant background, and which genre you would prefer to read for (e.g., prose or poetry).

Thanks for sticking with us, and a happy New Year!

Love,Heather

Readers Write for September

Readers Write

 

UPDATE: The deadline for this contest has been extended to September 30. Extra time to write something on the theme alchemy and send it to us!

 

Good morning, Gentleladies!  We’re back on the blog after a hectic summer in which two of us moved to new cities and one of us completed a super-smart course load for smartypants. Post Labor Day, I’m feeling like it’s time to get back in the writing game. So here is a Reader’s Write contest for you: up to 500 words in any genre, and the theme is alchemy. The deadline is September 24. Update: The new deadline is September 30. The winning entry will be posted on the blog. Email your entry as an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .pdf) to broadzine@gmail.com with the subject line “Readers Write”.

Also, for your brain, a definition of alchemy from good old Merriam-Webster:

Definition of ALCHEMY

1: a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
2: a power or process of transforming something common into something special
3: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting
— al·chem·i·cal  also al·chem·ic  adjective
— al·chem·i·cal·ly  adverb

Examples of ALCHEMY

  1. She practiced her alchemy in the kitchen, turning a pile of vegetables into a delicious salad.
  2. The company hoped for some sort of economic alchemythat would improve business.

Origin of ALCHEMY

Middle English alkamie, alquemie, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French alkimie, from Medieval Latinalchymia, from Arabic al-kīmiyā’, from al the + kīmiyā’alchemy, from Late Greek chēmeia

First Known Use: 14th century

September Readers Write Recap:
Theme – alchemy
Length – up to 500 words
Genre – any
Deadline – Tuesday, September 24   Monday, September 30
Submit here – broadzine@gmail.com, subject line “Readers Write”, entry in .doc/.docx/.pdf attachment
Open to – EVERYONE, regardless of gender or sex
Prize – your words on our blog!