Below, dear reader, please find bonus content for Suzanne’s book: ELEMENTS: A Collection of Speculative Fiction.
This series of posts provides stories-behind-the-stories for each tale in ELEMENTS.
Sitting in the 2nd slot in the Table of Contents is: “The Wind and the Sky”
I wanted The Wind and the Sky to read as a classic Science Fiction story.
So I created a space station, populated entirely with androids.
The station is originally built as a place to store the technological and scientific building blocks of Earth before a meteor hits the planet and destroys the ecosystem. The humans left on the surface build underground caves to keep the population alive until the surface is once again habitable.
Time passes. All the humans posted to the space station die off, leaving androids capable of self-replicating. They are charged with the task of protecting the Earth’s scientific treasures, and the long-dead humans programmed them to share the storehouse of wealth with the rebuilt human civilization once it’s deemed “ready”.
The androids consider themselves so superior that the humans on the surface are never deemed “ready.” The androids build in improvements with each successive generational upgrade. I named the various upgrades after elements in The Periodic Table.
In The Wind and the Sky Polnine is a member of the 84th upgrade Polonium series of androids. His boss, Astfour (a member of the 85th Astatine series) is a typical corporate manager: big ego, no compassion, and always giving Polnine a hard time for paying more attention to his passions than his job.
Polnine becomes so fascinated by the humans living on the surface that he decides to pay a visit to the surface. The story evolves as this technologically and scientifically superior android interacts with the hunter-gatherer humans on the surface who are scratching their way back to civilization.
In an earlier draft of The Wind and the Sky Polnine’s boss was Asttwo or “AST-2”. (Which in my mind, meant he was the second built of the Astatine series.) But when beta readers told me they thought it read as “AST-TWOW”, the dog with a speech impediment from The Jetsons. I changed his name immediately!