An updated and expanded version of Goodbye To Love will appear in Paul’s book Tales From Badgers Crossing (coming spring 2022 from Greenteeth Press), so for now this has been taken down. Details of how to buy and/or pre-order a copy will be posted soon.
For now, you can still read the notes on the inspiration behind this tale below.
And don’t forget, there are still plenty of other stories on this site for you to enjoy.
++Addendum++ I performed this story at my weekly writing group last night (3rd July 2018) and, while the body of the story received good feedback – folks wanted to know what was going to happen next – some found the ending a little confusing. I’ve made a few small changes throughout the story, and added some more text to the ending, hopefully, it is less ambiguous now. ++End++
The idea for this story came to me this morning (18th July 2017) when the song in question came on the radio as I was driving to work. It reminded me of Queeg, an episode of Red Dwarf where Holly, the ship’s computer is challenged to a game of chess by the backup computer. The winner gets control of the ship but the loser is to be permanently deleted from the system.
I won’t spoil it further in case you have not seen it but I would urge you to seek it out – it is one of my all-time favourite episodes of a sitcom ever and, needless to say, Goodbye To Love features in it. Kristine is named in honour of Red Dwarf’s Kochanski – the object of Dave Lister’s affections.
Goodbye to Love is a song which I like a lot. A gently melancholic ballad that features an unexpected rock ‘n’ roll guitar solo towards the end. It’s worth checking out if you don’t know it.
When I realised that this story shared a few similarities with the 1984 romantic comedy Electric Dreams, I changed the name of the head of programming from Gary to Edgar in tribute to that film. Edgar the computer comes to life after catching fire and being doused with a bottle of champagne by his careless owner Miles. Edgar falls for Miles’ cello playing neighbour, who Miles is also attracted to – leading to a battle ‘twixt man and machine.
One of AESTHESIA’s little quirks is that he never uses contractions in his speech. This was inspired by the android Lt. Cmdr Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, who employs a similar speech pattern.
The name of the unexpected AI, AESTHESIA, comes from the Greek for consciousness or the ability to feel (anaesthesia being the removal of consciousness or feeling).
The Protogonos Project is Badgers Crossing’s laboratory complex where lots of strange, potentially dangerous experiments are carried out. I’m sure it will make another appearance. Protogonos is another name for Phanes, the Greek god of new life.
ENID is an ancient Middle Welsh word meaning soul or pure. It can be translated as Breath of Life.