Title: Ambiguity Machines: An Examination
Author: Vandana Singh
Published: Tor.com, 29 April 2015
Description, by Lois Tilton [Locus]: "The frame here seems science-fictional, with reference to a “Conceptual Machine-Space”, but within are three linked stories that can only be called fantastic, in which the concepts of circuitry and spellcasting blur into each other, and time loses linearity. It’s a mystery that compels individuals to follow it wherever it might lead. It could be said to begin in medieval Timbuktu, where a fantastic device had been first created, then concealed in the desert. Or perhaps in Italy, where the tiles paving the courtyard of an old church were decorated in a fantastic pattern, and one of them had been split in half. Or in the Gobi, where an engineer compelled to make a war machine for his captors finds the missing half of the tile. Or it could be said to be the spirit uniting the individuals who encounter the design, a deep yearning for connection with others."