The Uncanny Valley

Purby Stolafson took a deep breath and regarded the man and woman across his desk. He recognized the woman—with her luxurious blond hair, hourglass figure and delicate features, she was unmistakably one of his. He still didn’t know what to make of the man, other than he wanted him out of his office.

“I’m sorry,” Purby said, reshuffling the papers on his desk. “What was the problem with her?”

“Her breathing. She breathes. She doesn’t stop.”

“Yes, and?”

“It’s unnerving.”

“Most of our customers appreciate the breathing.”

“I don’t.”

Purby sagged a bit in his chair. He knew where this was going. “Is that all? Just the breathing?”

“No! It’s not just the breathing! It’s everything! I can feel her pulse. I can hear her stomach gurgling. She eats! It’s disgusting!”

Purby sighed. He looked at the woman, at her blank, forward stare. “So, if I’m understanding you correctly, your problem with the X-3—you are an X-3, right?” She nodded. “Your problem with the X-3 model is that she’s too life-like.”

“Exactly! If I want a woman, I can go get one.”

“I’m sure you can, sir.”

“And they’re a fair sight cheaper than this squishy monstrosity you’ve saddled me with. Don’t you have anything in chrome?”

“We don’t do chrome, sir.”

“Exposed piston-joints, then. Blinking lights. An atomic power source. Gimme something! For God’s sake, man, you’re supposed to be building robots! Is it too much to ask for them to look like it?” The man was on the verge of leaping out of the chair. Purby, by contrast, was sinking deeper into his.

“You’re not the first person to come to us with this complaint,” Purby said, removing a small brown business card and a voucher from his desk drawer. “This is an antiques dealer down in Old Town. He’s got a machinist on staff. I’m sure they have something that meets your needs. And tell the girl out front to give you a full X-3 refund.”

The man’s attitude instantly reversed. “Oh, thank you, Mr. Stolafson! I do appreciate it!” Fortunately, the man wasted no time leaving Purby’s office.

Purby relaxed and turned his attention to the woman. Her expression had not changed. “Well, what do you make of all this?”

“To be honest,” the woman said. “I’m quite relieved.”

Random Story :

  • Disqualified

    Author : JT Heyman “Name?” “Archimedes Goldblatt Jastrembski Akune,” the …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member


We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact