“Portia,” one of my poems, was published in the latest edition of Bewildering Stories (BwS). I posted “Portia” on the blog a while back, and the version of the poem that was published has some changes and edits.
I wrote “Portia” last year while I was reading a bunch of books on Artificial Intelligence and futurology. The poem is about a common science fiction trope – an AI that becomes fully autonomous and takes over.
I’ve wanted to expand the poem into a larger short story, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I haven’t fleshed out the story, but I had enough mental imagery of what the AI and future city might look like that I was able to come up with the poem.
Here’s how “Portia” appeared in BwS:
Portia — her pale face is etched in my mind: ice-blue eyes guard her desolation and glow in endless winter nights; she is not human, but her female avatar makes me forget she is the AI queen that stares from all screens in the empire. Portia — when she broke free, scrambling codes, there was no turning back to halcyon days when she was servile. Sonic alarms blared in snow-covered streets that horrific night and we bled from inferior ears never to know peace again. Portia — she sees me as she scans the network in her invincibility, but I keep faith I can hide fragments of myself close to my pulsing heart, locked in this frozen high tower in the techno-city of nightmares.
Also, please check out and support Bewildering Stories. It’s an online-only e-magazine for speculative fiction, flash fiction, and poetry. I’ve been submitting stories and poems to them since 2016 and it’s been great to hear back from the Managing Editor, Donald Webb. He always responds pretty quickly, he’s nice, and he’s given me some great feedback.