Short Stories by Robert Dawson

Interest: They were included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

The Widow

Published: AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review in May 2012

Genre: science fiction

Length: flash length (really short)

Setting: Earth, in the future

Summary: The narrator is a computer program that was designed to grab information from one location and send on different information from another. Gradually we learn the program was developed to make money, most likely illegally. The programmer has disappeared and the primary objective function of the program has declined. The program has access to $74 million and is just looking for an honest human to use the money to benefit other humans. But you must reply soon since the power will go out on the servers hosting the program within three days and the money will be lost at that point.

Final thoughts: The story has a very awkward start with an amusing ending when you realize the whole story is really just an updated version of the Nigerian prince spam message.

The Fifth Postulate

Published: Imaginaire, December 2013

Genre: historical fiction

Length: short story

Setting: Greece, about 300 BCE

Summary: Euclid is just finishing his famous book of geometry, Elements, but he still hasn’t managed to prove the fifth postulate. He’s tried to prove it true, tried to consider it false and find a contradiction, and nothing has worked. It’s not until thousands of years later that Janos Bolyai discovers hyperbolic geometry where the fifth postulate isn’t true.

Final thoughts: An interesting little math story that makes you want to know what the fifth postulate is (if you’re interested, check this page out).

Soldier’s Return

Published: Niteblade, December 2013

Genre: ghost story

Setting: Canada, after WWII

Summary: A soldier’s wife died soon after he was deployed, but her ghost has waited for him in the living room of the house they shared. When he finally dies, he’s able to visit her. He doesn’t want to stay, but agrees to a cup of tea together.

Final thoughts: Interesting premise, and I like the image of the house finally decaying once the ghost got her visit from her husband and departed. Overall, I didn’t find Dawson’s style something I would seek out on a regular basis. It wasn’t bad, but just not my type.




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