FLY OR SPY?

In 2005 (or perhaps it was 2006), I attended a conference on innovation in which a U.S. Defense Department researcher showed a photo on a large screen of what looked like a housefly.  Except it wasn’t a fly.  It was a spy bot that could detect human pheromones. He said it was being used in search and rescue missions, including missions to identify foreign terrorists who posed a threat to the U.S. A shiver went down my spine.  All I could think about for the rest of the day was the many ways that robot fly technology could be abused in the wrong hands.

That spy fly on the screen was the inspiration for my first-ever sci-fi horror story, Insecticide, published this month by Devil’s Party Press in their Gravelight Press horror anthology, Halloween Party ’21. Warning: Reading Insecticide may cause you to flinch at the sight of a housefly, let alone a wasp.  I hope my story sends shivers up my readers’ spines. It should. 2005 was a long time ago, and the field of micro robotics has made significant advances since then. One can only imagine where it will be in 2032, the year in which Insecticide is set.

In developing the story, I searched the internet for information about the field of micro robotics. Like all technologic fields it has many benign applications beyond its military and spy craft ones. These beneficial applications of micro robotics include surgical applications and diagnostic health care applications (think the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage), as well as search and rescue missions following natural and manmade disasters. That said, I do worry that the spy craft and military applications could ultimately wind up in the hands of bad actors, like the antagonist in my story.

Below are links to just a few of the articles and papers that influenced my thinking as I developed Insecticide.

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/forget-props-fixed-wings-new-bio-inspired-drones-mimic-birds-ncna1033061

https://phys.org/news/2015-11-scientists-breakthrough-pheromone-based-swarm-robots.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51840027

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/12/drone-ethics-briefing-what-a-leading-robot-expert-told-the-cia/250060/

If you like horror and thriller/suspense stories, I hope you’ll purchase a copy of Halloween Party ’21. It has lots of stories and poems that’ll give you goosebumps.You can purchase the anthology through Amazon, Devil’s Party Press (https://devilspartypress.com) or Browseabout Books (https://www.browseaboutbooks.com).

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