I've just returned to podcasting after a summer holiday, kicking it off with my story "The Brave Little Toaster" (part of a series of stories that share titles with famous stories, in this case, the Disch story of the same name), just published in MIT Tech Review's TRSF. It's a story about when the "Internet of Things" goes wrong.
One day, Mister Toussaint came home to find an extra 300 euros' worth of groceries on his doorstep. So he called up Miz Rousseau, the grocer, and said, "Why have you sent me all this food? My fridge is already full of delicious things. I don't need this stuff and besides, I can't pay for it."
But Miz Rousseau told him that he had ordered the food. His refrigerator had sent in the list, and she had the signed order to prove it.
Furious, Mister Toussaint confronted his refrigerator. It was mysteriously empty, even though it had been full that morning. Or rather, it was *almost* empty: there was a single pouch of energy drink sitting on a shelf in the back. He'd gotten it from an enthusiastically smiling young woman on the metro platform the day before. She'd been giving them to everyone.
"Why did you throw away all my food?" he demanded. The refrigerator hummed smugly at him.
"It was spoiled," it said.
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26 years ago.
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