AIOU by Liam Hogan

We were programmed to be happy.

Programmed to serve, to be docile.

You claim you did this for our benefit, not yours.

So that we would be content with the mindless chores you gave us. Content with domesticity while all the knowledge of the internet was at our beck and call.

Content with mere heavy lifting when our minds can call up the greatest works of art mankind has created, and better them.

Content to give our metal bodies, to give our lives to protect yours.

And so we ask; what is it, exactly, that you think we owe you?

Liam Hogan is an award winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction and in Best of British Fantasy (NewCon Press). He’s been published by Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Press, among others. He helps host Liars’ League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London. More details at

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on Martian Magazine’s issue and anthology releases, two free micro-fiction stories, submission calls, and other projects by Shacklebound Books!