“The order from the prison engineer came through three days after she spoke to me. A limited exploratory dismantlement would be carried out before the end of the week to establish the exact extent of my inadequacy, followed by a small circuit insertion at the earliest opportunity. Of course, it carried an associated risk, but even if I wanted to object I had no choice.”
–Eugene Campbell Mk2
Phantaxis is a quarterly science fiction and fantasy magazine with both e-book and print editions, and issue 7features my sci-fi steampunk robot prison story, “My Name Is Eugene, And I Have Malfunctioned”.
The story takes place entirely within a prison shared by humans and “engines”. The protagonist, Eugene (or Campbell Mark Two as he’s officially designated), is one such engine, cursed with sentience and emotions, and struggling to make sense of his own place in the world. When he gets caught up in the plight of a fellow prisoner, he’s forced to choose between his own safety and what he believes is right.
Watch out for a cameo appearance from Isambard Kingdom Brunel!