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Automation: The Future of Fiction

As an independently-published author, I try to take advantage of every new technological marvel that can reduce my workload and make my process more efficient. In fact, in pursuit of this goal, I'm willing to go where other authors may fear to tread.

For example, letting artificial intelligence write my stories for me.

Stop laughing. This is SCIENCE. You're not allowed to laugh at science!!!

That's better. Now, where was I? Ah yes, automation. Last year, through the remarkable technology of Botnik Studios (responsible for creating the thrilling new chapter in the Harry Potter saga, Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash), I managed to automatically generate a short Beaumont and Beasley story entitled The Carpet of the Rug (which I posted on Facebook). The response to this story's coherence and plotting decisions was somewhat mixed, but I didn't let this dissuade me from continuing the project. No, I've continued to feed samples of my writing into Botnik's artificial intelligence app, and have managed to produce yet another story–this time for the Crockett and Crane series. And I'm quite certain you'll agree that it's amazing. A little bold, perhaps, especially in its tragic and poignant ending, but all the same, I'm really not sure I could have written it better myself.

So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…

Crockett and Crane: Hairy Stirrups

I protested my tail, but the contraption of my blathering was still undeterred.

“Todd, if only you had hair,” said Amy.

I pulled out a brilliant object of eerie green fish. “Centaurs never wear anything drastic,” I explained.

“Whoever I was, he is still louder than a chestnut,” said Julio. He wore a tiny incoherent beard.

“I thought you brought the gun of prattling bullets,” said Meg.

Just then, wulvers emerged from her lips.

“Todd, now I have a question!” said Amy.

I glanced at her and scoffed.  “You really want to experience firsthand an eyebrow of reptilian patterns?”

“The saloon died shortly after the music met me,” said Julio. He was flexing his chest and attempting to exterminate the townsfolk.

I thought about trying to strangle a dragon, but I decided I could not.

“I was very forgiving about the magical snout!” shouted Meg, as she pointed to the snoring warlords.

“You have to study teleportation of hairy stirrups,” said Amy.

“No! Somebody else can steal the country of threatening sarcasm!” I said.

The wulvers were completely surrounded by seventeen magic civilians. We stepped forward and strung the amulet over the rattling blue pants.

“There!” I said. “Heavy civilians are still louder than horses! “

Julio held his thumb and lapsed into surrender.  “I smirk with nobody,” he murmured.

Amy corrected the street, of course. “I was flat enough to escape myself.”

“Why would you want to talk to my feet?” asked Meg.

I turned to stone and then suddenly felt like a miniature political girl.

“Todd!” shouted Amy. “Your mystical torso was nice!”

I tried to whisper into her eyes. “You are a lot of things.”

Then the human monster of my sleeve said nothing.

 

That…wow. Excuse me, I just need a moment…

Okay. I'm fine now. But honestly, that blew me away. So gripping and emotional. Clearly, I have been rendered obsolete.

Also, here is the full text of the bot-authored Beaumont and Beasley story I mentioned earlier.

 

Beaumont and Beasley: The Carpet of the Rug

I was sitting in the mirror, trying to remember how people are lumpy.

Cordelia suggested a pile of candy, but I had anticipated no toads.

“Sure,” said Crispin. “Just think of all the magical properties of money!”

“Only temporary spells,” said Cordelia.

Molly was completely shriveled up and her hair was too powerful for me. Traffic was now under the table.

Suddenly, the ground began to rumble beneath our cupboards. I stared at Cordelia and screamed.

Several hundred feet below the ground, a large thing was thinking. It was a Loud Fuschia Frizzy Queen.

I shook violently at her. She said, “I think I recognize this animal.”

“Your father was a man!” shouted Crispin.

Cordelia urged a nearby chair to find someone remarkable.

Molly was a dinner. It was hard.

I asked the Loud Fuschia Frizzy Queen to keep from crying. She looked astonished. “I highly doubt you were a good assistant,” she said.

“Would the carpet even hurt?” asked Cordelia.

The rug of chemically panicking beauty furrowed between her fingers. “I think anyone who gives you a pile of rubbish is wrong,” she said.

“Molly is no such thing! She is the reason I motioned vaguely to my head!” said Crispin. He was getting attacked by a big purple skeleton.

I pulled the Queen through the corridor and swung her out of the Afterlands. She gave a wistful sigh. The carpet of the rug was completely oblivious to my appearance.

The last thing I said resentfully to her was, “I warn your shoes not to try me!”

“The room was shaped like your shoes,” Cordelia pointed out.

“Molly was a young woman,” Crispin remarked.

“She was a large green elephant,” I said. “She insisted on it.”

 

Look, even if you don't agree that I should be producing all my stories this way from now on (and let's face it, you probably do agree) you must at least feel that the Loud Fuschia Frizzy Queen is an incredibly compelling villain who should feature heavily in Beaumont and Beasley stories. I mean…how could you not think that?

But I leave the final decision up to you, my readers. Should I surrender to the inevitable rise of the machines? Or do you really prefer the humble efforts that I, a mere human, have been writing myself? I believe the answer is clear, but I bow to your wishes.

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Comments (11)

As funny as the automated stories sound, I much prefer your writing. It’s much more hilarious and has the wonderful deepness that I love.

Don’t surrender to the machines, Kyle!

The characterization was surprisingly good. Of course Amy corrected the street. And Crispin, he does have a gift for stating the obvious.

The bot seems to favour the ‘said person’ construction of ‘person said’.

Yeah, I noticed that. XD

Aw, thank you! 🙂

Leave the machines to humans with less talent! Stick to writing your own stories!

Ha ha, thanks! 😀

IDK, I think the gun of prattling bullets has a place in this series. Maybe the machines have the right idea.

IDK, I think the gun of prattling bullets has a place in this series. Maybe the machines have the right idea. 😉

This occurred to me as well!

I’m sorry to say it, Kyle, but I think it’s time for you to hang up your writer’s hat. I mean, your writing is great and all, but can you compare it to the genius of the AI’s writing about incoherent beards, miniature political girls, human monster sleeves, under table traffic, and, of course the Loud Fuschia Frizzy Queen. It’s true genius.

AHEM. Okay, I may have laughed so hard I started choking. My favorite bit was “‘Your father was a man!’ shouted Crispin.” and “Molly was a dinner. It was hard.” That IS hard. Who is eating Molly??? And THEN she’s a large green elephant? This writing AI really has it against poor Molly. XD Also, Cordelia made a point at the beginning. A pile of candy CAN make a person lumpy. ;D

Thanks for sharing! I had such a good laugh.

Ha ha!! Thanks so much! 😀 I had such a good time generating these; I was cracking up every two seconds at the bot’s suggestions. I think “Your father was a man!” is my favorite line, but it’s hard to pick. XD

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