Short Story: Sex, Life & Death On…

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About this Short Story

Written by
Adam West


A sequel to Do Eros Sevens Dream of Jupiter and Mars? and Love on an Alphane Moon - further exploring characters based upon Philip K Dick's main protagonists in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


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  • 92% Community Rating
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Rishka stretched out an arm. She turned her hand back and forth through one hundred and eighty degrees.

Palm facing up – back of hand – palm up again – noting that her fingers were identical to every other Eros Seven – Mark One through Five. Something she realised she knew instinctively.

Instinctively? What happened just then, she thought to herself? Was it a milestone – it was, wasn't it? No. More than that – a paradigm shift?

Perhaps.

At the very least, it could be said, something pretty momentous had just occurred.

For the first time since Rishka came into existence she had perceived a notion.

I perceive, she thought to herself, wondering; how on earth can that be?

Up until that moment Rishka had merely understood certain facts.

For instance, the meaning of words – all words as a matter of fact. And would if asked recite dictionary-perfect any word definition. Using of course, other words; all…

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Hugh Cron said "Hi Adam, another thought provoking piece of work that followed on from the other two stories. I thought of the subject matter being a message to all of us who struggle with love when they feel it for the first time. It is alien to us all! Empathy is one of those words which is an ideal state between people but should understanding mean acceptance? Has it anything to do with love? Do we need to understand to love? Or can we be totally different and still love? For my sins I have read a bit of Carl Rodgers and according to his ideas, the follow on from empathy is congruence. Now if you have ever worked with the public...Or been married, congruence can not be a part of you! To say exactly as you feel isn't always a good idea. Yep, it may be honest, it may be genuine but surely the thing about being human is knowing when to keep it shut! I only mention this as I wonder if Rishka would ever evolve (?) this can of worms? As always your writing gives me more questions than answers but that is half the fun. I am getting there with your back catalogue. I know that I am slow but your writing always causes me to think and it may take me a couple of reads before I get my head around what I am going to comment. All the very best my friend. Hugh"
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "There is little wonder there is so much to consider here as I tried to shoehorn the very many (if not all) of the themes PKD spent a lifetime exploring in 40 novels and dozens of short stories. It is a far bigger compliment, Hugh, to read that I leave you with more questions than answers than any amount of back-slapping praise about the writing - not that I don't still harbour a desire to be published - just once will do - thanks as always for letting me inhabit your brain - ATVB - Adam"
3 years ago
Nik Eveleigh Guest Editor said "I think this piece is the best of the four - perhaps it's to do with the slightly longer word count (though there was sound competition reasoning for the first two being shorter!) but I think it's down to the quality of the writing and the nature of the story. A real awakening for both characters - and written in such a way that as a reader you felt real joy and happiness the further you went along. Really good stuff - have thoroughly enjoyed this series of stories. Cheers, Nik"
4 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Another of mine I see that is a year in the closet (makes you wonder what might happen if the slider bar remains stuck fast to some of the gems that are now languishing on 50%) I digress - thanks again, Nik for your encouragement here - it's tough to revisit characters in short story format - but not impossible. I note you have done this to great effect recently - I was fortunate with this because Rishka and her man's life story seemed almost inevitable once they had successfully emigrated - for once I did not think doom and gloom and related their love to my own marriage - ATB - Adam"
4 years ago
Richard Ardus said "Adam, having just had another quick read of the first two pieces in this sequence I'd say that this one stands up very well on its own. You give enough background info to let the reader in on the situation of the two lovers and you lead us deep into their relationship, which the two former stories did not do, in my opinion. In fact I reckon 'Sex, Life & Death...' pretty well renders the former two tales redundant. Despite all the off-World/Eros 7's/android stuff I felt a little tug somewhere in my chest as I reached the end. Good story. Don't you think getting over the 1000 word mark gives us a chance to tell more (he says stating the bleedin' obvious!) - and that 500 is just too limiting? Now, have you got this PKD trip over with yet and are you coming back to Earth any time soon?"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "I missed the last shuttle back to Earth, sadly the next one is not due to depart for a further half dozen Alphane moon cycles so in the meantime here are my scrambled thoughts, Sir. Thanks again for your comments all of which I agree with. The 500 word story is a good challenge for the writer looking to add brevity to their list of attributes, however, the 1000 word story is usually more satisfying from a reader's POV. 2000/3000 words is another level altogether - two stories of late that fall into the latter category I think are superb and that you might enjoy are: The Boy Who Could by a new writer on SBS, Stephanie Arkoska and The Rules of Cricket by a SBS stalwart Desmond Kelly - ATB for now - Adam"
5 years ago
Ahmed-hamid Woody Bagala-alina said "Non-toxic fags, psuedo-human, outlandish planet and courageous male; you wove them all together nicely and though I experienced some confusion in some areas I still managed to love this story though got disappointed that I misunderstood the title and also missed (?) whatever Hi-Tech nourishment they survived on! Keep em coming! Bless!"
5 years ago
Ahmed-hamid Woody Bagala-alina replied saying "Indeed...you`re not doing a very bad job of it, anyhow...the confusion was mostly my own weakness, not your writing style. Most of the time I`m reading while catching up with my mail and posting on various sites. Just keep em coming, AW... Bless!"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "It just goes to show how difficult self-editing is, AW - the first draft of this took a couple of hours and was followed by 4 or 5 redrafts over a number of days to try and get it right for once - the last draft I got serious with some overlong sentences cutting them into 2 or 3 smaller sentences and thought I'd worked out all the wrinkles! Still - you enjoyed some - thanks for readong and commenting as always - ATB - AW."
5 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "I read this and was very moved, to me it is such a wonderfully deep love story, yes I know that's obvious but you have handled it so subtly and the writing is really captivating. Glad to see that you are back on form Adam, and I look forward to more of Rishka and her awakening. As for the cigarette - hmm, that all sounds much too good to be true doesn't it, there must be some space dust in there I reckon. - Thanks for this - Diane"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thank you Diane - in essence, yes, that is what I wrote - a love story - I tried, of course, to cram in loads of classic PKD themes and scattered no end of PKD-speak into the mix along with the occasional Wub gag. And you are right about the Space Dust - consumed too liberally, well, it does kind of reach parts of the DNA other sweet stuff don't reach :-) thanks again, Adam."
5 years ago
Desmond Kelly said "Great work Adam. Is something stirring in the Androids dark spaces, and what was in that cigarette they shared? More please, this is both compelling and entertaining. Des"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Aye Desmond summat wer stirrin' alreet. And it was a derivative of Sherbet lemon dip I believe in the ciggy - must try one - Ha! - thanks for reading and all that jazz - looking forward to your latest tomorrow, if I get time - ATB - Adam."
5 years ago
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Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Jay - so I got a laugh! Great. Decided on my second or third rewrite/edit to lighten the mood in this one and sprinkle some brighter bits in amongst my dark profoundness! James has given me a kernel of an idea for the next story so maybe by next June I will have produced another 1300 words - ATB - Adam"
5 years ago
Patsy R Liles said "Wellll, compelling, Adam. Not my usual genre, but I liked this, it held me and I too am left wondering about Rishka; sad to think we will take these habbits to another place; lots of things to think about. Good job. I felt her caution, and his power very strongly. Patsy."
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Gee Tanks Patsy - glad you felt something - I guess that's all you can hope for when writing - that someone feels something of what you felt or maybe something different? As for the smokes well, one day you never know - we might outgrow some of these centuries old habits. I believe that Iceland is planning to go 'smoke-free' by 2040 or 2050 - canny bunch those Icelanders - love their country, their music and have a few Icelandic authors on my Xmas list this year - reckon I'll love them too - hope to visit Iceland one day but reckon I smoked too many fags so might not be up to that trek and have Barcelona pencilled as my next most wanted to go to place. Thanks for reading one outseide your comfort - take care - Adam."
5 years ago
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This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for the read and comments and TW quote, David - I can't claim to be as prolific as the notables you list - more of a reader these days - glad I delayed you for 5 mins, Sir - ATB - Adam"
5 years ago
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James McEwan Guest Editor said "But Adam, would Rishka pass the Voigt-Kampff or Boneli test and do andriods have feelings too. What sensations does Rishka feel when smoking or is it a way of feeling human? Certainly a Philp K Dick style and a good read. I was thrown by the voice shift, I felt as If I was inside the head of Rishka until, ' Odd, he thought to himself, studying her, wondering why the hesitancy?' This seem to jar slightly for me. However I did enjoy the moment when she started to feel.. Bring back Luba Luft... James."
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for your comments, James - yes, you have a point re POV - swapping like I did is probably best left for the Pros - as for the Voight-Kampff test can't see Rishka's chappies letting some goon subject her to that indignity - but now you mention it...hmmm - this lazy 'writer' might just squeeze another story outta this pait yet - ATB - Adam"
5 years ago

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