Aboriginal Science Fiction, May 1991 My family names our cars. My father's first car was a gray 1936 Ford he named Boadicea. My first car was a two-tone 1957 DeSoto I named Jackson. We name other inanimate objects, as well, and treat them as if they have personalities -- I typed this on a computer named Beth. (She's a Mac.)

(And the latest update was done on Chloe, a PC.)

I think most people do that to some extent. We anthropomorphize the objects around us. And as our gadgets get smarter and more complex, it's getting easier to get attached to them as if they were alive.Interzone, May 1991

So one day I got thinking about this, and also about high-tech warfare. I think I may have been listening to Emerson Lake & Palmer's "Karn Evil 9," with the lyrics about a war fought with computers.

Stories about leftover war machines are common in science fiction, and all this came together to create "Targets." It didn't actually come out the story I intended it to be, but I sold it to Aboriginal SF for what turned out to be a special issue, where the fiction was all also published in the British mag Interzone. (Huh. I'd forgotten they also shared the cover art.)

It didn't make much of an impression, I guess. I included it in my collection Celestial Debris anyway.


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