Your response to our Gadget Fiction contest was amazing: there are so many good stories that it's gutting to have only three prizes to give out. A few interesting trends cropped up throughout the entries. • You like bad sex and bad coffee. • You are ambivalent about your relationship with consumer electronics. • You have read William Gibson a lot. Winners after the jump.1. The Norm Cloud, by Al Jones
The idea of celebrity endorsements hadn't occurred, but the A.I. had grown fond of Cheers over the years and began to speak in a pronounced Chicago accent with a distinct knowledge of the rigor of accounting bisected by house work. The Norm Cloud in other words had produced a type of desire that made it perfect for calculating the angles of construction while maintaining a rouse of socialability that made it the world's preferred drinking buddy.Excess and typos almost kill it, but something about this old-school cyberpunk concept haze won me over by the end. 2. The New Machine, by Brian Easton
"It is a metal man," someone exclaimed. Almost on cue the coppery being stepped out from behind Daniel Martin. It was obvious, a metal man stood before them, tall and spindly with a broad chest that narrowed into a waist that seemed impossibly thin. Again the crowd buzzed with conjecture and speculation. "It could replace the negro!"3. Brush with Greatness, by Sean J. Jordan
A woman behind her tapped her on her shoulder and said, "I think your phone's going off." Carolyn reached into her pocket and pulled out her phone. The screen was lit up. "R U in line for Eqlzr?" it said. Apparently her phone could do something besides make calls. She hit the "next" button. "Buy me one, pay u back," it said. The phone number associated with the message, she realized now, belonged to her teenage son.Special mention must also go to "Imaginary Software," by Startling Moniker. If I weren't in a formal fiction-reading mood, this purple cow would have won by a space mile. Rather than endure any attempts to describe it, just go and check it out. Other excellent entries miss out on swag only because of capricious and arbitrary reasons meaningful only to me. Hippocratic Oaf's Joy, DW_Funk's "Love is best expressed in analogue," and Martin Rusis' Meta-Switch are among those that make me feel bad for having so few prizes. I want to run another competition just so Timely Handclaps has an excuse to revise Orange Juicer. Bram Gieben's Search Engine reminded me of work. Mr. Andrews's Month with the Terio TX-i9 Sonic Toothbrush and JD_Paradise's Seventh Sin story about a clever huckster bring the lulz, and I honor the spirit of Alexander Honkala's "The Nigerian Prince," winner of the inaugural Atlanta Nights Award for Nice Try. Prize winners, please email : rob at boing boing net.