This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.
Published: July/August 2016 in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Genre: post-apocalyptic science fiction
Setting: Sweden, near future
Summary: The story is told from the viewpoint of Filip, a Stationary CompanionApp, as he relates to Ella, his elderly human companion. It seems that the world was struck by a killer virus, and years later, everything is still in quarantine. Filip has tried to get Ella off the little Swedish island she’s currently on, or access to her drugs, but has had no success. Things change when he’s able to contact a supercomputer who turns off the quarantine conditions and teaches Filip how to import his consciousness into a Go-Machine.
Final thoughts: An interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world. Ella is alone, except for the bots that continue to maintain the cities and town. Filip has enough consciousness to worry about Ella, but not enough to come up with a good solution. Moving into the Go-Machine changes his perspective and his interactions with the world, and seems to open up more creative aspects of his personality. He still doesn’t understand music, although Ella keeps trying. Overall, a thoughtful piece with a touch of hope at the end.
Title comes from: According to an interview with the author, it refers to the phrase, “Last one out, turn the lights off.” Ella was the last one out, but she hadn’t turned the lights off because the bots were still out there.