“Mr. Templar” by Jason Sizemore – Selection 13 of #DealMeIn2018

The Card: ♠Seven♠ of Spades

The Suit: For #DealMeIn2018, ♠♠♠Spades♠♠♠ is my Suit for “dark/sci-fi/horror stories from various sources.

The Author: Jason Sizemore https://jason-sizemore.com I’ve featured a couple of his stories before in prior iterations of Deal Me In, notably “Yellow Warblers” and “The Sleeping Quartet”

The Selection: “Mr. Templar,” which I own as part of the author’s collection, “Irredeemable”

What is Deal Me In? I’m glad you asked!  Full details may be found here  but generally speaking it’s a reading challenge where participants try to read one short story a week for the year, the reading order being determined by the luck of the draw. See here for the list of stories I’ll be reading in 2018. Check the sidebar for links to other book bloggers who are participating in this year’s challenge.

Mr. Templar

“In eight centuries, Mr. Templar had never fully grasped the true desolate nature of the Earth. However, riding at high speeds two hundred meters in the air, seeing the same grey, dusty landscapes hour after hour, he began to appreciate the total annihilation of the humans’ nuclear bombs.”

First things first, The title character, Mr. Templar, is an Android. There are no humans left on Earth at the time of this story. And the androids that are left are running out of fuel. They roam a desolate landscape several hundred years after humanity has fled the nuclear wasteland of an uninhabitable world they created.

Mr. Templar’s search for fuel leads him to meet another android, who he calls Mr. Ruby (Ruby can’t remember his own name as his memory has been compromised by “data flies” – the reigning pest in this post-apocalyptic world). Ruby has picked up a signal from orbit and believes it to mean that their human “masters” are returning. How will they react? Wishing to reunite with the humans, together they head off to search for jet packs when Mr. Ruby shares that he knows where are cache of them are stored – in a bunker two hundred feet beneath Cape Canaveral.

What struck me about this story was that, in the absence of human stewardship of Earth, the technological life that now remains begins to exhibit some very human characteristics. Those that remain are embroiled in bitter competition for dwindling resources. Sound familiar? It’s every man – er, Android- for himself in this world. The remaining “life” forms also deteriorate into their own form of racism too: When Mr. Templar first encounters Mr. Ruby, he scoffs, “Only robots speak the old language. You must be a worthless robot.”

A good story, on a ♪personal note♪, the abandoned androids reminded me of an old Star Trek (The Original Series) episode (titled “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”) where Kirk and the gang encounter a certain Dr. Corby, off on a remote planet making androids with the help of “Ruk” (portrayed by Ted Cassady of “The Addams Family” fame!). Ruk, too, was an Android who was left behind by his creators…

“Yes. The Old Ones… The ones who built us!”

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5 Comments

  1. marianallen said,

    May 29, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I haven’t read any of Jason’s stories, because I thought they were all horror! This sounds like a Must Read for me, though. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Like

    • Jay said,

      May 29, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Most of the other stories of his that I’ve read would certainly qualify as Horror! Certainly “The Sleeping Quartet” does, which is one of his I’ve featured in a prior year’s Deal Me In.

      Like

  2. Dale said,

    May 29, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Sounds like a good story for the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Maybe not in the exact same fashion but some similar themes?

    Like

    • Jay said,

      May 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      I would agree it would be a good pick along those lines – in spirit if not literally. On a related note, I’ve been reading “Frankenstein in Baghdad” for one of my book clubs (we’re meeting next week to discuss both that book and the original). It’s pretty interesting as well as that anthology, “Frankenstein Dreams” that you may have seen Katherine at The Writerley Reader post about before. Really enjoying that one, though some of the selections are things I’ve read before.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. aamidor said,

    May 30, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Well, this is pretty self-serving of me, but here’s a link to an ad and review for my newest novel, this time from a good indie publisher, and to a sample from the audiobook version. Abe Aamidor

    https://www.amazon.com/Letting-Go-Abe-Aamidor/dp/157962538X

    https://www.downpour.com/letting-go-224479?sp=224480

    Abe Aamidor

    On Tue, May 29, 2018 at 10:01 AM, Bibliophilopolis wrote:

    > Jay posted: “The Card: [image: ♠]Seven[image: ♠] of Spades The Suit: For > #DealMeIn2018, [image: ♠][image: ♠][image: ♠]Spades[image: ♠][image: ♠][image: > ♠] is my Suit for “dark/sci-fi/horror stories from various sources. The > Author: Jason Sizemore https://jason-sizemore.com I’ve featured a couple > of his stories before in prior iterations” >

    Like


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