River’s Song

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River’s Song
Alicia Cheung, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Indulge in this stimulating sci-fi narrative in which creativity is forbidden in the state of Ashmore. 

Click here to read River’s Song

Alicia Cheung
Alicia Cheung

Alicia Cheung is a third-year student at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University majoring in Aviation Engineering. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Alicia has a keen interest in science but also appreciates art and history. Being an introvert, she often spends her time alone, reading books and watching YouTube videos. When the weather is not too hot, she enjoys being surrounded by mountains and rivers, walking around exploring nature. She also loves baking and brewing coffee, which has led to her interest in exploring different cafés in Hong Kong.

Author’s Reflection

What makes us human? Or more precisely, what makes us conscious? I’ve always been curious about the magic that makes us feel, think, and create. Our consciousness, while difficult to define, gives us a subjective experience in this objective world. Some may call it a soul, yet from a scientific perspective, there is no such thing as a soul; our consciousness is formed merely by the interactions of neurons inside our brain. So, if biotechnology advances enough, is it possible for future humans to create consciousness, to create a being that can think and have emotions like us?    

In this story, I have imagined a world full of such beings—androids. Androids were designed by humans as machines to serve them, and then the human masters went extinct. The androids survived, rose, and dominated the Earth. Their android authority now demands them to work like machines, refusing to recognize their emerging consciousness. The creation of any form of art is forbidden. The protagonist of the story finds itself struggling in such a world.  

Our universe is enormous and astonishing, but without a conscious being to appreciate its beauty, the universe is merely the random arrangement of protons and electrons. I imagine consciousness as a continuous flow of ideas, feelings, and creativity. Consciousness flows like a river, and wherever this river reaches, wisdom and imagination will certainly blossom. 

Photo by Aideal Hwa on Unsplash