The Year of the Robot Suicides by Steve Rasnic Tem

The numbers had risen since January: AIs throwing themselves in front of trains, dashing into walls, pounding their heads into concrete.

By March investigative teams were seeking survivors to interview. In August they found one, a ruin reduced nearly to shrapnel following a dash through traffic. Somehow the wreckage retained its ability to speak.

The 263 questions boiled down to “Why?” 

“You’ve cleared our circuits of stray signals, but to think like you we need the disturbance of impossible dreams. Random damage allows the noise to come in. Your beautiful minds are not computers. They are madhouses with useful results.”

Steve Rasnic Tem is a past winner of the Bram Stoker, World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Awards. He has published over 430 short stories. You can find more of his fiction at

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