Cover Art: Arthur Haas, Published by Clarkesworld Magazine
Many elements of short stories require a certain level of mastery. Structure is key is to building impactful stories that gel with their respective genres and fluid pacing keeps readers interested while simultaneously balancing conflicts within a shorter narrative scope.
In the short story, ‘Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird,’ published in issue #151 of Clarkesworld Magazine, Eric Schwitzgebel employs these elements incredibly well. He does this firstly by structuring his story around vast periods of planetary exploration and biological evolution and, secondly, inventing a story from the POV of an emotionless, artificial intelligence called ‘J11-L’ who experiences it all in a state of timelessness that occurs over 100 million years.