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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Messiah Machine

  • Author(s): Sparks, Ethan William
  • et al.
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This master's thesis consists of excerpts of an uncompleted novel and omits portions of the novel which are unrelated to the narrative arch included herein. The Messiah Machine is a post-apocalyptic, subterranean re- imagining of the Pinocchio fairytale. Instead of a wooden puppet, the child-figure has been replaced by two clockwork automatons created for the purpose of sexual labor. One, an immobile model is created with knowledge of what is being done to it while a mobile version iscreated with a blank slate, an innocent state that sets up the story as a bildungsroman; the automaton achieves a self- autonomy. The automatons are designed to imbibe the negative emotional traumas of their users in order for a more pure experience of pleasure when in physical contact with a client. By fulfilling its purpose, the mobile automaton becomes a "real boy," the culmination of experiences imbibed by the protagonists of the story. By interacting with the characters of this subterranean world, the automaton helps start revolutions and liberate communities from Catholic dogmas (the surviving system of absolutism which governs the resources of this fictional subterranean world). The energy source for powering the automate is a byproduct of the cataclysm which drove humanity underground: the materialization of one's soul as ether which can be re-purposed; ingested (in cannibalistic fashion) and commoditized. The finale of the story sees the automatons ascend to the surface to inherit a scarred landscape, but one in which they are free from the constraints of a failed human race

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This item is under embargo until October 3, 2025.