Mother of Invention

Edited by Rivqa Rafael & Tansy Rayner Roberts

ISBN: 978-1-922101-47-1 (pbk)

ISBN: 978-1-922101-48-8 (ebk)

Published 1 September 2018.

Knit robots, build spaceships, and shape the future.

Extraordinary short stories about gender, artificial intelligence and the art of building something new. Mother of Invention features the work of Seanan McGuire, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Nisi Shawl, John Chu, Justina Robson and more.

A speculative fiction anthology of diverse, challenging stories about gender and artificial intelligence.

From Pygmalion and Galatea to FrankensteinEx Machina and Person of Interest, the fictional landscape so often frames cisgender men as the creators of artificial life, leading to the same kinds of stories being told over and over. We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. How can we interrogate the gendered assumptions around the making of robots compared with the making of babies? Can computers learn to speak in a code beyond the (gender) binary?

If necessity is the mother of invention, what exciting AI might come to exist in the hands of a more diverse range of innovators?

Essay: Reflecting on Indigenous Worlds, Indigenous Futurisms and Artificial Intelligence by Ambelin Kwaymullina - Winner of William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review  


Table of Contents

Mother, Mother, Will You Play With Me? by Seanan McGuire

Junkyard Kraken by D.K. Mok

An Errant Holy Spark by Bogi Takacs

The Goose Hair of One Thousand Miles by Stephanie Lai

The Art of Broken Things by Joanne Anderton

Sexy Robot Heroes by Sandra McDonald

A Robot Like Me by Lee Cope

New Berth by Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Fata Morgana by Cat Sparks

Bright Shores by Rosaleen Love

Quantifying Trust by John Chu

Essay: Reflecting on Indigenous Worlds, Indigenous Futurisms and Artificial Intelligence by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Sugar Ricochets to Other Forms by Octavia Cade

Kill Screen by E.C. Myers

Living Proof by Nisi Shawl

S’elfie by Justina Robson

Knitting Day by Jen White

The Revivalist by Kaaron Warren

Arguing With People On The Internet by E.H. Mann

Rini’s God by Soumya Sundar Mukherjee

Tidefall by Meryl Stenhouse

The Ghost Helmet by Lev Mirov

"All of the familiar tropes of mad science and the creation of artificial life get turned on their heads in the most gloriously feminist way in Mother of Invention. It turns out when the person who's Playing God is female, the story suddenly gets a lot more interesting." - Charlie Jane Anders

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