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Week 231 – A.I., Bad Ideas That, As We Speak, Are Being Considered And Special, Special Effects.

Well here we are at Week 231.

We now have over three hundred thousand hits on the site. We thank everyone who has visited!

New writers are still submitting and we have a brilliant relationship with all the writers who have been with us for a while.

Nik if you are reading this, who, apart from any of us, is the longest running submitter, that still has submitted this year???

Of course I’m reading Hugh!

Our smart money would have been on someone like Tom Sheehan I reckon…and we’d have lost big! Tom only ranks in 9th place would you believe (although he leads the pack in terms of sheer volume of submissions as you would expect). The top ten list of longest running submitters is:

  1. Desmond Kelly (1589 days, 39 submissions)
  2. Ceinwen Cariad Haydon (1576 days, 5 submissions)
  3. Lee Conrad (1561 days, 12 submissions)
  4. Frederick Foote (1519 days, 80 submissions)
  5. Jack Coey (1491 days, 12 submissions)
  6. Leila Allison (1481 days, 54 submissions)
  7. Phil Slattery (1480 days, 2 submissions)
  8. Alan Swyer (1479 days, 4 submissions)
  9. Tom Sheehan (1440 days, 166 submissions)
  10. Charles Bigelow (1436 days, 5 submissions)

All of our top ten have submitted work in 2019 – huge thanks to each and every one of you for your marvellous support!

Oh and before I go, I did spot something else that interested me in the stats. The longest time between first and second acceptances on LS by an author is a whopping 1139 days! Now that’s dedication for you!!

Lately we’ve been getting a few stories in of the same ilk and that is Artificial Intelligence stories.

We have published Vic Smith’s ‘Conscious Coward’ and Dave Henson’s ‘One Night In Club Sexbot’ but that was back in 2015 and 2017 and these guys were the trailblazers. Their stories were in a very small minority of type and we were delighted to publish them, not because of that but because they were excellent as well as being a novelty.

It’s went mad lately and I blame the updated ‘Stepford Wives’ and ‘Westworld’.

I have to admit, I enjoyed the original films because I hadn’t really seen anything like that. And Katharine Ross was a lovely looking woman and Yul Bryner was a very handsome man. I miss the 70’s.

The reason that I mention this is I am worried where this will end up.

If I read a submission about two AI android types falling in love and then deactivating themselves because they can’t have children due to a Siemens problem, I won’t be best pleased.

Another bad idea is having Jesus being resurrected by re-booting as it turns out he was made by aliens.

Although I would like to read the AI version of the bible where Mary tells Gabriel that her being pregnant did not compute.

It is only a matter of time before we get a cat story where the cat is a robot with a tremendous feeling of self-worth and sadism. That one would be hard to distinguish from reality unless you put the batteries in the only place you could. (And don’t get me started about batteries being obsolete and mentioning using a charger – That then doesn’t work as a visual joke.)

I’m also waiting for the story where some lonely guy marries Alexa. To be truthful, I’m keeping my eyes open for that in the local news. The wedding reception would be good, there would be a cracking selection of music that the bride couldn’t find.

And of course, we could never accept a President AI with a faulty history memory card who would blame that on a visual circuit.

The problem when writing something like these is even though the subject seems new it isn’t. All that happens is we take human problems and recognisable traits and put them into something that isn’t human. And we think it’s clever because the reader will relate to the relatable.

If you are thinking on writing an AI story, don’t, there are thousands out there who are thinking the very same thing.

Okay, onto this week’s stories.

We have two new writers, two returning and Tom who has broken our abacus.

Subjects this week include; abduction, transformation, home, a delusion and a treasure hunt.

As always our initial comments follow.


On Monday we had our first new writer.

We welcome Rose Banks to the site. She began the week with, ‘Beneath Your Skin‘.

‘Gruesome and open to interpretation.’

‘I liked how the weirdness in this could be an escalation of her state of mind.’

‘This is a bit different and more complex than most of this type.’


For every story that Tom Sheehan has published, he is getting closer to that unbelievable total of one hundred. I would just like to make a comment regarding this. There are no shoe-ins for Tom. This writer’s output is something that we’ve never come across before or likely to again. If we had published all of Tom’s submissions, there would have been around another thirty added to that total.

A Story Found From Yore‘ was number 79!

‘He needs a follow up, he really does!’

‘The MC had his ideas regarding the writer of the diary. The policeman had his ideas on the treasure and we were left to decide what was found.’

‘When Tom hits this type of story perfectly you flow with the flow!’


Penny Faircloth is a returning author. We are sure that this talented author will have many more for us.

His second story, ‘The Hedge‘ was next up on Wednesday.

‘This was written truthfully. If it had went for the sympathy card it wouldn’t have been so real or powerful.’

‘There is no self-pity, just acceptance and self knowledge.’

‘Haunting and poignant.’


On Thursday our second second timer was published.

Harrison Kim returned to the site with ‘Chess With Al‘.

‘Even if the reader twigs early on, this gives insight and realistic misdirection coming from the character.’

‘Good writing, great pace.’

‘There are recognisable traits that are subtly done.’


And we finished off with our second new writer. We extend the same welcome to Jack Paton. We hope that both he and Rose have fun on the site and have a long association with us.

The Dancing Bear‘ was published on Friday.

‘Brilliant tone, much weirdness and this made me smile.’

‘It was lyrical and the idea of the Midnight Circus is absolutely charming.’

‘I think we have found how a non-dark fable should be done.’


That’s us done and dusted for another week folks.

Just the usual reminders.

Please keep commenting, all of us at Literally Stories love to see some audience participation. And to all you writers who have submitted, you can get a wee bit of exposure if you give us the odd comment. We’ve read your stories, let’s hear your thoughts.

And have a look at the Sunday Re-Run feature and be inspired. Just find an older story that you have enjoyed and write us a critique or an introduction. Why not throw in a couple of hard questions for the author!

Since I was commenting on AI, I decided to watch a Science Fiction film. I chose ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’. There were no robots, only zombies which resembled vampires. The effects were special but in a different way. And it was widely reported that Bela Lugosi died halfway through the film. He actually died from the first scene. But I have to say, there was no intelligence, artificial or otherwise in this film what-so-ever!

Who said brilliance needs to be good?



Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

The original uploader was One Salient Oversight at English Wikipedia.Later versions were uploaded by Ibaranoff24 at en.wikipedia. [Public domain]


11 thoughts on “Week 231 – A.I., Bad Ideas That, As We Speak, Are Being Considered And Special, Special Effects.”

  1. My candidate for Best AI in a Supporting Role: “Gort” in the original The Day the Earth Stood Still (forgot the lousy remake). No BS with Gort. He just opens his visor and eliminates “problems.” He’s an interstellar Luka Bratze (however that guy’s name is spelled). Safewords “Gort, Klaatu Barrida Nikto” only good if you’re Patricia Neal.


    1. Hi Leila,
      I think Michael Rennie was a bit type-cast due to that.
      And if Gort ended up sleeping with the fish, no-one would need to weigh him down.
      Thanks as always for everything!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dave,
      Jesus Dave don’t give folks ideas! They will be pencilling an RUAI story as we speak about the robot who learned not to understand!
      Disco was questionable but Glam Rock was the Bollocks!!! I am on a listening spurge of ‘The Slade Station’ on Amazon Prime! I can’t remember much about ‘Hanoi Rocks’ but they are excellent and I forgot just how good Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) was!
      Thanks as always for all your input!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leila,
      We pay attention to you.
      We were going to issue with a sound scolding but see that you corrected this just in time.
      …Okay, we weren’t…We didn’t know!!
      The cats would have!!
      All the very best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From my humble sixth perch in the 10 tree, I can’t help but think that if Hugh wasn’t an Editor he’d be atop the thing like an uncensored Jesus topping das tannenbaum. That would push me to seventh, but that’s all right. 7 is a power number.


  2. Hey,
    How about the movie “Her,” with Scarlet Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix ?
    He falls in love with his AI. I thought it was a pretty good movie. I have the contrary opinion that you can write about anything, but the characters and story have to carry it, not just the idea. Actually, I recently sold a story to Bards & Sages based on the idea of a vampire hunter falling for a vampire and losing his ambition. Sort of a human/vampire Romeo and Juliet. But I thought I did a decent job on making it a story, not just an idea. That’s awlays a writers’ problem. An idea is not a story.


  3. Hi Ed,
    Excellent point regarding the story having to carry the idea.
    I think the problem is when someone thinks their idea will carry the story!!
    I’ve had an idea for something for months now but I just can’t convert it into a story, I don’t even know where to start. But what the hell, I’ll sit on it until it whispers in my ear with a beginning.
    Thanks for being around the site and commenting. It’s much appreciated.
    All the very best my friend.


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