markpasc (markpasc) wrote,

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Flowers from Alice

Thought I'd note that Cory Doctorow calls his story with Charlie Stross “Flowers from Alice,” appearing in New Voices in Science Fiction and a new Best of the Year anthology, “a pervy piece of post-Singularity erotica.” If you're into that.

It was a very wrong idea to invite Al to the wedding, but the wedding itself was a bad idea, to be perfectly frank. And I won't take all the blame for it, since Al decided to show up, after all, if “decided” can be applied to someone as post- as she (s/he?) (they?) [(s|t)/he(y)?] was by then. But one morning as we sat at our pre-nuptual breakfast table, my to-be and me, and spooned marmalade on our muffins and watched the hummingbirds visit the feeder outside our nook's window, one morning as we sat naked and sated and sticky with marmalade and other fluids, one morning I looked into my fiancee's eyes and I prodded at the phone tattooed on my wrist and dialed a directory server and began to recite the facts of Al's life into my hollow tooth in full earshot of my lovely lovely intended until the directory had enough information to identify Al from among all the billions of humans and trillions of multiplicitous post-humans that it knew about and the phone rang in my hollow tooth and I was talking to Al.

“Al,” I said, “Alice? Is that you? It's Cyd!”

There was no sound on the end of the line because when you're as self-consciously post- as Al, you don't make unintentional sound, so there was no sharp intake of breath or other cue to her reaction to this voice from her past, but she answered finally and said, “Cyd, wonderful, it's been too long,” and the voice was warm and nuanced and rich as any human voice but more so, tailored for the strengths and acoustics of my skull and mouth which she had no doubt induced from the characteristics of the other end of the conversation. “You're getting married, huh? She sounds wonderful. And you, you're doing well too. Well! I should say so. Cyd, it's good to hear from you. Of course one of me will come to your wedding. Can we help? Say we can! I, oh, the caterer, no, you don't want to use that caterer, she's booked for another wedding the day before and a wedding and a Bar Mitzvah the day after, you know, so, please, let me help! I'm sending over a logistics plan now, I just evolved it for you, it's very optimal, you don't have to use it, of course, though you should really.”

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