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Best of Fenix Volume 3 - AI: Automatic Intelligence
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Best of Fenix Volume 3 - AI: Automatic Intelligence

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Johan Salomonsson and Johan Englund combines I, Robot and Das Kapital in this steampunk setting full of inspiration and scenario seeds.

Can you hear that ticking sound? The ticking of countless calculators embedded in every machine imaginable. Steam-powered cranes and lifts, hydraulic printing presses, pneumatic valves and capsule pipelines, automatic orchestras; they're all controlled by calculators. Steam may be the power behind the industrial revolution, but it's the calculators that really have changed the world and the mindset of people. And with the calculators come the automatons, the new automatic, mechanical workers who can perform everything that human workers are able to and then some. Everything but take their own initiative of course. Or? What happens when the automatons become self-aware, when they acquire a free will and start making demands? And above all, what happens when they outwit us?

It all begins when Charles Babbage invents the analytical engine, powered by steam. Although clunky in the beginning, with time it becomes smaller, so small as to fit in the head of an automaton. Lady Ada Lovelace invents the programming language that controls the automatons and makes them tick. And tick they do, more so than anyone ever expected.

In this article we take a look at the birth of the automaton, right down to how they evolve and the offshoots no one foresaw, to what could happen when they truly evolve. We cover automaton strikes for better working conditions and equal rights, as well as megalomaniac super calculators claiming total world domination by any means necessary. The steampunk era will never be the same after the automatic intelligences have hit it.

You can find this material in Askfageln’s anthology Best of Fenix Volume 3. If you like it, don’t miss the rest of the material from Best of Fenix!

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File Last Updated:
November 01, 2015
This title was added to our catalog on November 02, 2015.