This still from Fritz Lang's classic urban nightmare Metropolis depicts the robotic alter ego of the angelic Maria, a pseudo-Christian reformer whose efforts to evangelize the city's cog-like workers infuriates their autocratic ruler, Joh. The new Maria, built by Rotwang (at right) on Joh's orders, is an exotic dancing sex fiend who, despite her debasement, manages to foment revolution even more effectively than before. Who'd have thought that the proletariat would prefer sex to god if allowed to choose their opiate?.

Mika Model,” the latest short story from famed science fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi, was published at Slate today. It starts like a noir, with a dame approaching a detective. But this is sci-fi—so the dame is a robot.

As it happens, Detective Rivera knows all about this robot, the Mika Model of the title. Because he read about her…in Popular Science.


Excerpt from “Mika Model”

Excerpt from Paolo Bacigalupi’s short story “Mika Model,” published at Slate

It’s good to know that even in the world of the future, Popular Science will be there for all your robot explanation needs.

Beyond our glee at being name-checked, “Mika Model” is a fantastic read. Check out the full story at Slate.