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Nuke my jobbot by Emma Ross Munro

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“Nuke my jobbot” is a 2015 science fiction short story by Emma Ross Munro. It is about an office worker who is monitored 24/7 by a flying, bee-sized robot.

A Bee-autiful Story

“Give me a 15-ft. crocodile any day over a bee.” – Bindi Irwin

Hmm… not sure I’d take a crocodile over a bee, but I have had my share of bee stings in life! The worst episode came when I was about 10 years old or so and my friend and I decided to knock down a huge beehive just to see what would happen. Well, what happened was we got the crap stung out of us! Sheesh – not sure why I did such a stupid thing, but I learned my lesson well! Now I actually think that bees, along with ants and wasps, are super fascinating. Here is a story that puts a little bit of a creepy spin on robotic bees – but the really scary part is the description of life in a dreary, cubicle-laden office! Aaahhh!

Non-Spoiler Summary

A honey bee by Aaron1a12, CC 3.0 license

Melissa is lucky to have her data acquisition job. In her world – the world of quadruple-dip recessions – many unlucky, jobless people live miserable lives on the streets. So when her perky HR rep assigns her a bee-like jobbot to increase her productivity she grudgingly accepts it. At first it is a minor annoyance – gently reminding her to keep busy and strive to do better. But the jobbot’s constant companionship draws Melissa and her friends into a war against the ever-present pests. Then, just as she comes up with the perfect plan, HR throws her an unexpected curve ball – and that could ruin everything!

My Two Cents

  • Story: 5 stars – I really enjoyed the idea of “Big Brother”-like robotic bees! It was cool to see how the technology was incorporated into a modern world.
  • Writing: 3 stars – The author got her ideas across OK, but there were a few times where the stream-of-consciousness adjectives got to be too much for me.
  • Fun Factor: 4 stars – Overall this was a fun and somewhat unique story to read. It definitely made me think about my work situation and how good I have it right now. Lucky me!

Where To Find Nuke my jobbot

  • This story was first published in the August-September 2015 edition of the science magazine Cosmos.
  • You can still read “Nuke my jobbot” for free at the Cosmos web site.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked “Nuke my jobbot” then you might also enjoy “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu – a great Hugo and Nebula nominated story about a group of very special and talented wasps.