Short fiction

Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes by Tom Crosshill

The short story “Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes” by Tom Crosshill was published for the first time in 2012.

Rico is worried about his mother, who is elderly and has some mental problem. Whenever she says goodbye to someone, she’s convinced that she’ll never see them again. Some time earlier, Rico’s father had his min uploaded to a virtual environment, where he now lives, even if the procedure doesn’t seem free from flaws. Will Rico convince his mother to do the same thing?

The story “Life of the Author plus 70” by Kenneth Schneyer was published for the first time in 2013.

Eric Weiss is a writer who had no success. He’s the only person to have borrowed his own novel from the local library after he suggested buying it. Eventually, he had to adapt to working for a creative department of cartoons. By signing his contract he noticed the curious clause that includes the possibility for him to get hibernated in case of life threats.

Things to improve for Weiss but after ten years he gets warned that he never returned the book he borrowed. The fine to be paid is $102,400 and Weiss’ attempts to amicably solve the situation only make it worse. His case is handled by an artificial intelligence and it’s impossible to talk to a human being. Weiss is forced to try every loophole to try not to pay an awful lot of money.

Whole Truth Witness and Life of the Author plus 70 by Kenneth Schneyer

The short story “Whole Truth Witness” by Kenneth Schneyer was published for the first time in 2010.

Manuel “Manny” Suarez is a lawyer who’s having big problems to defend his clients. The new nanotechnology led to the development a way to allow witnesses in a court of law to recall events in a perfect way and at the same time prevents them from lying. However, a good lawyer is always able to adapt to new situations and invent new tricks.

Kenneth Schneyer had very diverse work experiences. He was also the lawyer so he knows the environment described in “Whole Truth Witness” from personal experience. In this short story, the author imagines that the developments of nanotechnology will also influence that field.

The story “The Quantum Mommy” (“Armelina II”) by Michalis Manolios was published for the first time in 2005. It was translated from the greek by Manolis Vamvounis.

The mother ship Europa II has reached Europa, Jupiter’s satellite, and deployed the Hope spacecraft to its surface. Armelina is ready to be teleported inside Europa II for a three-month mission. After greeting her daughter Agape, she enters the teleport cabin but something strange happens: Armelina arrives at her destination and at the same time is still on Earth after being replicated.

Aethra and The Quantum Mommy by Michalis Manolios

The story “Aethra” (“Aethra”) by Michalis Manolios was published for the first time in 2001. It won the Aeon Award. It was translated from the Greek by Thalia Bisticas.

An art critic is murdered in a villa that belongs to Aethra, a famous artist who uses biotechnology to create clones of herself with physical variants and very elementary minds. Commissioner Costas goes to the villa to ask Aethra some questions but focusing is a big problem because of the artist’s extraordinary beauty, very exposed by her and her clones, but also from the sense of perversion that some of the creations give him.

In “Aethra”, Michalis Manolios takes us to a future in which biotechnology is advanced enough to allow its use to create what are considered art forms. Aethra is an artist who uses herself as a base to create clones that are highly appreciated but her creations raise questions about the ethical limits.