Bewildering Stories welcomes...
Charles David Taylor
Charles David has settled in Houston after many years of a “nomadic” existence that has taken him to many parts of the world, including a relatively long stay in Virginia and several cities in Texas. His career has included documentary and educational filmmaking, photography and scriptwriting and work as an educational technology consultant at various universities. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and has published several works.
“Delphi, Voice From the Cloud” is not one of those stories that one “likes” or “enjoys” any more than one “enjoys” Sophocles’ Oedipus. In fact, the story goes the classic tragedy one better by borrowing the name “Delphi” for an artificial-intelligence oracle that precipitates a double tragedy.
In Sophocles’ play, Oedipus is a literalist. He hears the Delphic Oracle’s prediction and thinks he can outwit it by running away. He then proceeds to be very careless about whom he kills and whom he marries.
In “Delphi, Voice From the Cloud,” Harold chooses and even concocts Bible verses that he has Delphi recite. The verses are cleverly designed to confuse and manipulate his parents, who obey without thinking the demands of their religious cult and its leader. Both Harold and his parents hear the “voice from the cloud” and, in their separate ways, take the Bible verses literally. Like Oedipus, they pay no attention to the meaning.
Are Harold and his parents unlikely, even implausible characters? Not so fast there; you don’t have to look very far to find them. “Delphi, Voice From the Cloud” is a cautionary tale for our times.
Charles David Taylor’s bio sketch can be found here.
Welcome to Bewildering Stories, Charles. We hope to hear from you again soon and often!
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