[image description: A tiny robot in yellow and red stands in a desolate land, nothing but dirt surrounding it. Text reads, “8, O.R.B.O.T., the small god of TINY ROBOTS”]
He is not a new god, for all that many would treat him as such. He has been with us since the very earliest machines, when tinkers would stack wheels and simple boxes and press them into children’s hands. He grows more sophisticated year upon year, but no more powerful, for he does not yearn for power; he has allowed ownership of drones and nanotechnology to pass into other hands, hands which may be less gentle than his own rounded pinchers, but which hunger for new things to hold.
He is happy with what he has and with what he is, and understands a lesson that many newer gods have yet to learn: he understands that to expand his portfolio is to change himself to fit it, and to become something other than he is. But he has no desire to be other than he is, nor dreams of power. He is powerful enough in the dreams of children both young and old.
He has saved the world a million times in their hands. Has been a towering behemoth who crushes buildings beneath his mighty treads, and a bead of living metal rolling through the veins of an unwell mother, chasing illness aside. He has been hero and villain, monster and mechanist, and he will be all those things again and again until the human heart has no more need for a friendly automaton, until the human eye ceases to seek a friendly face in the inanimate. Until that day, he is content to serve as himself, and to seek for nothing larger, for nothing larger could ever be as kind.
His domain is small and limited and merciful. In ORBOT’s name we gather.
Artist Lee Moyer (The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, Starstruck) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: