Every month in 2018, Future Irritating Fiction—a assortment of quick tales from Future Irritating and ASU’s Heart for Science and the Imagination about how technology and science will commerce our lives—will put up a memoir on a theme. The theme for October–December 2018: Work.
“How turned into once your day?” Jack asked his wife as she took off her shaded leather pumps at the door of their plentiful industrial-chic house in NoMad.
“Upright,” Sophia lied.
They didn’t use to mislead every varied, no longer even about exiguous issues. Unfiltered honesty had always reach naturally to them, no matter their evident differences—presumably ensuing from them. But for the past six weeks, nothing regarded pure anymore. It turned into once unfamiliar how grand the death of a stranger had modified issues.
She’s going to most seemingly be pleased to restful’ve felt overjoyed, or so she kept telling herself. She had no longer too long within the past been promoted to accomplice at her fund and shifted her role from quick promoting to long-term investments. No matter having to pay out 10 p.c of all pretax earnings as dividends to her non-public merchants and an spoiled fifty four p.c to Uncle Sam, she earned ample to afford the three-bedroom, four-lavatory house they didn’t be pleased, the clothier furniture Jack shopped for with all his free time, and the bullshit up-to-the-minute art that now profitable-searching looked love bloodstained, limp airbags after a vehicle accident.
But she didn’t feel overjoyed because one diminutive, uncontrollable bit of defective luck sucked the total serotonin and dopamine from her mind and replaced it with cortisol and adrenaline. Jack turned into once the gracious one who seen that bit of defective luck coming. The actual one who’d tried to quit it. Even although she knew it wasn’t profitable-searching, she blamed him for no longer doing extra. She stared at him as he purchased under the affect of alcohol on a bottle of overproof bourbon he wouldn’t be ready to afford without her.
“In its put of ingesting all day, why don’t you function one thing?” she regretted asking almost straight away.
“I wish I would, nonetheless folks love me don’t gain employed to function anything else moreover work on manufacturing unit lines or tremendous up shit after RIA assholes.”
“That’s redundant,” she mumbled.
“For emphasis,” he shot succor. RIA stood for “affluent, indoctrinated assholes,” so she turned into once correct, nonetheless he turned into once snappy too. Jack’s IQ turned into once high, no longer rather as high as hers, nonetheless he turned into once 1.9 sigma above the imply, so no doubt high ample that he would’ve gracious for a respected university. It didn’t matter; his family couldn’t be pleased afforded it, and the Prodigy Market hadn’t been round but to support with the associated price of a diploma.
Sophia’s education, a diploma in civil engineering from a first rate college nonetheless no longer no doubt some of the hallowed Seven-Figure colleges, had price shut to $800,000. Her Initial Prodigy Offering hadn’t raised ample for a Seven-Figure diploma (the Thirteen colleges whose reputation emboldened them to payment bigger than $1 million for a diploma), nonetheless she turned into once restful lucky to be pleased folks affluent ample to rent counsel and brokers to control a first-generation IPO within the newly minted Prodigy Market.
Jack turned into once older and his folks had been worse off, so he graduated high college and not utilizing a likelihood. Jack would’ve loved to be a pediatrician. But whilst you couldn’t afford college, there turned into once no blueprint of warding off ending up on the low-wage, unskilled Wall-Head aspect of the typical American crew divide, taking a behold on enviously at the high-skilled RIAs.
So Jack, love his folks, turned into once a Wall-Head. He worked in a manufacturing unit making neatly being facility gurneys and wheelchairs—as shut as he would possibly presumably maybe gain to joining the scientific profession. Because it turned into once, he knew he’d rapidly be replaced by automation, as so replacement his company had been.
But unlike his folks, Jack had married an RIA. And up till six weeks within the past, their marriage of opposites had worked neatly.
Sophia pressured herself to specialize in of how he turned into once with his elderly folks who’d waited for a normal income to quilt life’s needs—needs they couldn’t afford. They’d died ready, and after they did, Jack didn’t fake to be sturdy or managed or “masculine.” He turned into once inflamed, uncontrollable, profitable. That’s when she knew she cherished him. She found herself hoping that she restful cherished him, nonetheless so grand had modified in six weeks.
Six weeks within the past, Kathryn Tally Anders died, and ever since then, white lies and cortisol and whiskey and blame had taken over. Six weeks within the past, Sophia had by no blueprint talked about the title Kathryn Tally Anders, and now it possessed her every thought. Her mind performed that title and that face on repeat.
More problematically, her mind blamed her over and once but again for killing her.
It turned into once so mind-numbingly tiresome, filling out a W-9 tax make on his wall-mounted Ecosphere display. How would possibly presumably maybe there even restful be a W-9 make? Its persistence within the area looked to mock the rest of the technological growth enveloping most aspects of life. Then he caught himself: Modified into this the dullest thought he’d ever had?
When he started doing contract work, he turned into once told, “No two days are the equal.” Those folks had lied to him or, extra seemingly, lied to themselves.
Alex prepped for every job within the actual same blueprint, and this job would possibly presumably maybe be no varied from the dozens sooner than and the dozens after. The Iridious security gadget on his coffin-sized pleasant scanned his irises within the basement of the five-bedroom suburban house the put he lived on my own. The door popped originate after he turned into once verified, and he retrieved two SCCY CPX-II pistols and their corresponding AAC Ti-Rant 9 mm silencers. He added a serrated 9-scamper SOG hunting blade to his artillery as neatly, nonetheless doubted he’d wish to use it except issues went terribly wrong. A fraction of him hoped they’d.
Alex always called what he did “liquidating an over-resourced blueprint,” nonetheless in normal English, once shed of the total Orwellian indirections and rationalizations we bake into our use of language, he turned into once nothing varied than a hitman.
The bud permanently in his ear gently vibrated, and the narrate on the assorted aspect told him they obtained the W-9. The job would possibly presumably maybe be listed as “supply chain consulting” on their stability sheet. He’d catch confirmation of the streak interior 24 hours.
Sophia’s monitors lit up in her east-facing office at Athena Prodigy Administration on the Forty seventh floor of a forty nine-floor building profitable-searching because the sun rose. She opened her portfolio and hunted for ticker symbol KTA1108II love she had every morning for the past six weeks. She knew that seeing it would gut her, nonetheless she did it anyway, futilely hoping it wouldn’t show up at all, as if it had by no blueprint came about.
But every morning, there it turned into once, with a total compose of $32 million floating subsequent to the logo. And that’s all it turned into once, an emblem. It didn’t lisp Kathryn Tally Anders, it didn’t show her picture, it didn’t mention her death; it turned into once profitable-searching an emblem on a spreadsheet. Each and every morning, she’d shut out and test out to rental long-term Prodigy investments. Each and every morning, she hated long-term Prodigy investments and herself a exiguous extra.
It turned into once a on line casino, nonetheless in aim of making a wager on shaded or purple, the vote turned into once on whether or no longer a high college child turned into once going to be suited.
Prodigy wasn’t an correct term anymore. At the foundation, the Prodigy Market, created by a coalition of what within the raze came to be identified because the Seven-Figure universities, turned into once finest originate for investments within the highest-possible college students love Sophia—loyal prodigies. On the opposite hand it turned into once so suited that sooner than long any underperforming student or any bullshit, for-profit college would possibly presumably maybe access the market.
Excessive-possible college students would possibly presumably maybe float shares of 10 p.c of their future lifetime earnings on the market, nonetheless college students with less excellent credentials would supply 20 p.c, forty p.c, or even 60 p.c of all future income to garner ardour. The market drove up the inquire of for RIAs, every on the fraction of families enthusiastic to compose them and of merchants enthusiastic to compose stakes in them, and the heightened inquire of further exacerbated the associated price of attending the Seven-Figure colleges. Universities touted the market because the sizable equalizer while their multibillion-buck endowments bloated.
It turned into once a extremely liquid market at the quit discontinue, which allowed for an fully unusual class of equities and derivatives. Moreover, Prodigies had been bundled into PAGs (Prodigy Asset Groups) by banks for a particular possibility diploma and commercial cluster (BBB+ aspiring gadget engineers, as an illustration). The average investor didn’t even wish to analyze particular individual property; they would maybe presumably maybe wager on market inquire of for a undeniable profession or ability location. It turned into once a on line casino, nonetheless in aim of making a wager on shaded or purple, the vote turned into once on whether or no longer a high college child turned into once going to be suited. And Sophia turned into once profitable at making that wager.
Some high-possible Prodigies would possibly presumably maybe apply for their beget ticker symbol. These had been grand extra unstable, potentially extra lucrative for merchants love Sophia. She loved to quick particular individual property, making a wager their price would streak down. And KTA1108II had been her greatest quick aim ever.
Before its death, KTA1108II turned into once a thrilling asset, no longer profitable-searching out out Sophia nonetheless for the total market. KTA1108II turned into once extraordinarily high-possible, touted on CNBC as no doubt some of the few property that will presumably maybe presumably be ROI certain sooner than its increased education even started. Obviously, KTA1108II’s market cap turned into once spiraling upward; the futures market turned into once making a wager that its lifetime price would possibly presumably maybe be within the a total bunch of millions, if no longer extra.
KTA1108II entered the Prodigy Market even sooner than entering high college, offering up 10 p.c of future lifetime earnings. It turned into once an above-average asset: profitable grades, accelerated particularly in math and science, stable family. On the opposite hand it wasn’t till ninth grade that the asset in actuality hit the radar. In ninth grade, KTA1108II proved that most cancers cells bonded to wholesome cells behaved in a different blueprint, and subsequently that the billions pharmaceutical firms had spent on laboratory exams of unbonded most cancers cells had been a shatter. This asset had made a discovery plentiful of impacting millions of lives and billions of bucks at 15 years old.
KTA1108II exploded within the Prodigy Market. It turned into once anticipated to be a fraction of the crew that found noninvasive, long-term therapies for late-stage malignant tumors, particularly as connected to bone marrow.
But when there’s excitement round an asset, merchants ignore possibility and possible vulnerabilities. They overvalue the asset. No person asks what would possibly presumably maybe streak wrong in a climate of irrational exuberance—no one, that is, excluding dispassionate quick sellers love Sophia. She had built her total profession at some level of the contrarian quest for these overestimated property.
Since the Ernst-Meyers regulations following the 2021 Awful, liquidators, love Alex, had been quietly shrunk by unscrupulous firms to “liquidate” underperforming, overcompensated workers who would possibly presumably maybe no longer be terminated by profitable-searching blueprint. This increasingly extra general, if unacknowledged, put collectively turned into once identified as “self-law.” This unusual contract turned into once varied, although. The firm that had employed Alex wasn’t self-regulating. In its put, they held a huge quick aim in an asset within the Prodigy Market and stood to assemble a heavy profit if the asset had been to be liquidated.
Alex obtained no figuring out or demographic particulars about the blueprint till correct sooner than the hit. The particulars of the person didn’t matter; they had been a blueprint no extra and a minimal of a allotment of paper with a bull’s-peer drawn on it. But traditionally he turned into once liquidating long-term, overpaid executives, almost solely older men, every now and then older ladies folk, whose survivors stood to cash in dazzling life insurance protection policies.
But a job interesting the Prodigy Market supposed that the blueprint would possibly presumably maybe be younger and would seemingly no longer be from a affluent family. When he accredited the contract, he refused the particulars love always, nonetheless he did in discovering himself questioning how it’d assemble him feel if it turned into once a baby.
And for a 2nd, he realized he wasn’t bored with the job.
It turned into once finest eight weeks within the past that Sophia first found KTA1108II’s flaw. She found it in a easy iShare photograph in which KTA1108II turned into once leaping into the air with company, hands above its head. It turned into once in long sleeves at the beach; it always wore long sleeves. But because its hands had been above its head, the sleeves had fallen down finest ample for Sophia to try the tip of a exiguous scar on its wrist.
After Sophia verified that the stamp on the asset’s wrist turned into once certainly a self-inflicted scar, she went by technique of her community of hackers to compose access to the asset’s scientific records. The memoir for KTA1108II couldn’t were better. It turned into once seeing a psychiatrist till it entered the Prodigy Market, when it dropped the shrink and the antidepressant prescriptions because, obviously, those disclosures would’ve diminished its fraction stamp. Materially antagonistic recordsdata, because the filings called it.
It turned into once finest per week sooner than Sophia found this that she had been promoted to accomplice at Athena. The promotion came with a mammoth elevate and the ability to alternate the firm’s beget equity and fraction in its profits, dramatically increasing her possible bonuses.
It’s on the total exhausting to ascertain how grand any given promotion or match will affect your general life, nonetheless no longer for Sophia. Because she herself turned into once an asset traded on the Prodigy Market, she knew precisely how grand the promotion increased her price: 29.2 p.c. Such an elevate turned into once extraordinarily uncommon for somebody already within the crew. The promotion drove her fraction stamp as much as $551. Rumors spread that even her beget fund turned into once taking a aim in her.
With the arrogance of her market price spike, she worn her total unusual buying and selling portfolio to quick KTA1108II. All the pieces. It turned into once an insane streak, the profitable quick aim the fund had ever taken. But Sophia turned into once logical, and this turned into once as rational a alternate as she had ever taken. As soon as she wager every leveraged buck towards KTA1108II, she despatched the photos and the scientific records to CNBC under the equal edifying alias she always did. She waited for the community to imperfect-reference and validate the tips.
No longer as much as per week later, the memoir broke correct sooner than eight a.m.: KTA1108II suffered from despair and had acted on the disease within the past with self-mutilation. The memoir even one-upped Sophia and asked if there had been suicide attempts. It turned into once profitable. All around the hour, KTA1108II’s fraction stamp crashed by almost 30 p.c, from $347 to $243. Sophia earned her firm almost $eleven million.
The plenty of companions wished Sophia to cash in. A doctor’s assertion or neatly-timed announcement of a exiguous analysis breakthrough would possibly presumably maybe jump KTA1108II’s stock succor hasty. Sophia talked them out of it; there turned into once extra room to fall. She knew that the stress of shedding its future would possibly presumably maybe be poorly managed by a extremely motivated, dismay-encumbered, sixteen-year-old asset tormented by despair.
But the market closed that night with KTA1108II’s fraction stamp up from its low. No longer by grand, nonetheless the grab for the firm would’ve been about $eight million, and the conversations would possibly presumably maybe be about the $three million “lost” and no longer the $eight million earned.
But no longer as much as 2 hours later Sophia’s mobile phone rang. The narrate on the assorted discontinue excitedly told her to flip on CNBC.
KTA1108II turned into once tiring, a suspected suicide. There turned into once a display. They weren’t reading it.
The fraction stamp dropped to $zero.eleven interior a minute in after-hours buying and selling. Sophia did what she turned into once programmed to function: She unloaded the quick aim and earned the firm $32 million. It turned into once her greatest day ever.
The companions congratulated Sophia for her (and their) triumph. They insisted that she had nothing to function with the asset’s death. She would possibly presumably maybe barely apply their phrases; her mind turned into once racing, debating whether or no longer she turned into once a assassin or no longer. For the critical time since she turned into once a lady, Sophia found that the cortisol controlling her round thoughts turned into once far stronger than her common sense.
She anticipated to fight with Jack that night. He had always been piously towards “profiting off the screw ups of others,” as he effect it. He had been searching for to gain her to quit for years. She opened the door, and Jack reeked of bourbon; he’d seen the news already.
Jack always purchased house hours sooner than Sophia even left her office; that day had been no varied. He had stepped on the treadmill in their extra bedroom and turned into once no longer as much as a mile into his scamper when he seen the news, a Prodigy Asset acquainted from dinner conversations had dedicated suicide. Jack shut down the treadmill and grabbed his pc. He turned obsessed, reading every article he would possibly presumably maybe in discovering. The financial shops referred to her as KTA1108II, nonetheless some smaller publications called her Kathryn Tally Anders. Kate, her family called her.
He learn about Kate’s life. Her dog. Her two older brothers who joined the Air Force. Her folks who’d immigrated to The USA 34 years earlier. After which at 5:24 p.m., he learn about Kate’s most cancers compare. And that’s when he started ingesting.
Kate turned into once targeted on just a few myeloma, the most cancers that had killed Jack’s mother. They talked about Kate would possibly presumably maybe support in discovering a cheap cure. Kate turned into once going to function that. Kate who killed herself so that he would possibly presumably maybe be pleased this lavish three-bed, four-bathtub house in NoMad with artwork on the wall that he didn’t even love.
He filled one other glass. After which one other. And one other, which is why he smelled love booze when Sophia arrived house. When Sophia walked within the door, his disgust turned into once displaced without be aware: He would possibly presumably maybe explore that she hated herself too. It turned into once the critical time he ever seen that behold on Sophia’s face. So in aim of fighting, he walked as much as her and wrapped his hands round his wife.
They talked as she drank wine and mindlessly repeated that she turned into once certain it would’ve came about anyway. He agreed at the side of her. Per chance that’s when the white lies between them started.
Sophia went to work for the subsequent few days nonetheless couldn’t focal level. She’d show herself that her extra suited peers wouldn’t care—they’d be celebrating. She hated that she didn’t feel that blueprint. She’d inspire herself for an hour or two, nonetheless the emotional rupture always adopted, and he or she’d streak succor to reading about KTA1108II.
Sophia gathered the companions and asked to be moved to long-term investments. She thought if she started investing in property’ futures, she’d be ready to forgive herself. Her companions took no longer as much as an hour to talk about the transition and approve it. She discovered after the truth that there had been replacement pushback, nonetheless her friend and accomplice Ether had effect his foot down.
“Humans sooner than profits,” he had it appears talked about. He’d refused to leave the room within the event that they didn’t accede to Sophia’s demand. They did, and Sophia’s fraction stamp on the Prodigy Market dropped interior hours to below $400 for the critical time in three years.
For a day, she felt relieved. She turned into once accomplished shorting; she convinced herself right here’s all she wanted to streak forward. But she finest felt worse.
Sophia wasn’t the gracious at what she did anymore. She turned into once a fraction of the weak herd, in aim of a hunter attempting to in discovering to capitalize on flaws within the weak recordsdata. When she turned into once restful shorting, she’d be ready to inspire herself for a least an hour or two. Now, she’d employ elephantine days obsessing over Kathryn. Browsing and re-browsing her title on the tips superhighway. Rereading articles she had almost memorized.
She thought if she started investing in property’ futures, she’d be ready to forgive herself.
Sophia within the raze understood how Kathryn Tally Anders would possibly presumably maybe in discovering relief from cutting herself. Truly, Sophia started carrying a hair tie on her wrist that she would snap on her pores and skin when she would imagine Kathryn.
It didn’t matter that she stopped shorting Prodigies; she had already killed one. At this level, all she would possibly presumably maybe function turned into once drown out the guilt with finest ample alcohol to restful her judgment of correct and wrong.
So, after six weeks of torture, Sophia determined she will be able to most seemingly be pleased to restful numb her mind with work. That morning, in aim of taking a behold up KTA1108II, Sophia opened up her Ecosphere display and began investigating the highest valued Prodigies, poking them for vulnerabilities. And for just a few hours, she didn’t imagine Kathryn.
The resolution came by technique of just a few minutes after 6 a.m. The job turned into once confirmed for that night.
From a dwindling roll of plastic, Alex carve out the three- by three-foot sheet on his garage floor, the one he’d strip onto after the job. He mindlessly prepped two tubs of silicon dioxide to dissolve the gloves, foot covers, and surgical cowl that he’d be carrying. He effect in mirrored contact lenses to dam any iris scanning that will presumably maybe track him succor to the scene later.
After which the encrypted message came by technique of, including a file with the blueprint’s recordsdata—picture, age, gender, figuring out marks. On the total, Alex would review the file, nonetheless for this job, he opted to support till he turned into once on aim. There’d be less time to commerce his mind, one thing he knew would price him all future contracts. And even although he turned into once so painfully bored by this profession, one thing about this contract turned into once making him despise it rather less.
Early the subsequent morning, Sophia walked over to Ether’s office. He turned into once there obviously, he always turned into once, and greeted her by offering up half of of his breakfast, a caramel brownie.
“It’s the gracious fucking thing I’ve ever tasted,” Ether talked about, inserting it in her hand. “Bite it. I’m telling you, you would possibly presumably maybe also’t no longer feel profitable while appealing that.”
Sophia acquiesced, and then she laughed because he turned into once correct. For profitable-searching a 2nd, she felt profitable.
“I in actuality be pleased a alternate I wanted to scamper by you,” Sophia laid a one-sheet on his desk.
He glanced at it, “A snappy aim? I threw a fit for you—”
“I profitable-searching stumbled at some level of it after I turned into once taking a behold for long-term investments,” she lied. She knew he knew she turned into once lying.
“Gaze, whilst you grab to pray to be buying and selling quick positions, I entirely increase—”
“I don’t desire a huge aim. I’m no longer going to game the press or gain too keen. But what function you imagine about me taking a minor aim?” she asked.
Ether agreed. She turned into once lucky; Ether turned into once a friend. He understood. And it in actuality made her feel somewhat better, make of affection she turned into once taking one other exiguous chunk of that brownie.
Sitting in his vehicle originate air of a luxurious rental complex, Alex within the raze opened the blueprint’s file. He scrolled hasty by technique of; the asset turned into once younger when compared with most contracts, nonetheless most no doubt an adult. He breathed a insist of relief.
Then he sighed but again. But this time with a splash of disappointment.
Alex screwed the silencers onto the 2 pistols, stepped out of his vehicle, and walked towards the house of his blueprint, who lived in a supposedly regain 32-memoir building in New york.
Fortunately, Wall-Head security guards had been merely ornamental for professionals love Alex.
Alex entered by technique of a repairs door alongside a aspect alleyway. Because the guard approached to analyze, a diminutive needle slipped into the pores and skin on his neck. He turned into once about to shout when Alex rested a gun on his brow.
“Don’t assemble a noise and also you’ll be awake in just a few hours. I promise,” Alex flippantly talked about as he compressed the plunger. The sedative flowed into the guard’s body, and Alex laid him down.
Alex rode the elevator up and seen that his heartbeat turned into once as quiet as if he turned into once searching at TV reruns. He thought of his first contract. He remembered shaking.
Sophia returned house late with the odor of dinner recent within the air. She took off her chestnut suede apartments and gave Jack a kiss. He reeked of whiskey, love long-established. She didn’t care. They sat down to luxuriate in. All the pieces regarded largely normal.
“I took a minor quick aim nowadays. Nothing big and—”
“Soph, Jesus. Six weeks within the past somebody killed herself.”
“She turned into once manic-depressive—”
“And also you went and told the total world that she turned into once overestimated for that,” the conversation stopped, and Jack looked away.
“I want this,” Sophia talked about, stifling what would possibly presumably maybe’ve been some tears, then purchased up from the table and walked towards their mountainous wine rack.
Alex waited within the darkened entrance hallway of his blueprint’s house the put the lights had been off, and he watched his blueprint gain up from the dinner table and blueprint an mountainous wine rack, finest about Thirteen paces away. He would possibly presumably maybe hear her steps; he would possibly presumably maybe hear her breathe. Because the blueprint grabbed a bottle of wine, a 2024 Château Le Pin Bordeaux, Alex watched her snap a hair tie on her wrist.
The blueprint uncorked the bottle as Alex raised the pistol in his correct hand. The blueprint’s husband turned into once nearby; it wasn’t going to be tremendous. The husband would deserve to appear what Alex knew turned into once going to be a multitude. As Alex exhaled flippantly and tightened his grip, he realized that he felt nothing. He turned into once profitable-searching as bored as he turned into once filling out the W-9.
But then, that exiguous bud permanently in Alex’s ear vibrated silently.
“If it hasn’t came about but, we’re calling it off,” a narrate came by technique of the diminutive bud in Alex’s ear. The narrate belonged to a individual named Ether, Alex’s paymaster for the day.
With out a be aware, Alex diminished the gun and stayed quietly within the shadows, searching at the blueprint swirl her purple wine, so completely unaware of how shut she’d reach to by no blueprint tasting it. So completely unaware that her beget fund known her as overestimated and took a huge quick aim on her. So completely unaware that Ether deliberate on keeping the fund’s quick aim on her, reviewing it but again subsequent quarter to behold if she turned into once succor to shorting efficiently. So completely unaware that she in actuality didn’t must die.
So completely unaware that her beget fund known her as overestimated and took a huge quick aim on her.
For nowadays, she lived. For nowadays, it appears, she turned into once profitable-searching suited ample.
Sophia walked succor to her dinner table and took one other sip of wine. Alex slipped out of her house and arrived house 32 minutes later. He dissolved his garments within the premade acid baths, sterilized his weapons, disposed of his mirrored contact lenses, and took a scalding sizzling shower. It turned into once the critical job ever called off after he’d already seen the blueprint. What if he had pulled the trigger sooner than it turned into once called off? The concept made his heart beat a exiguous sooner because the water poured over him. What if he had pulled the trigger?
But he hadn’t. So, for one extra quarter, Sophia turned into once allowed to pause completely unaware. Completely alive. Completely valued.
For now, at the very least.
Beforehand in Future Irritating Fiction:
“Mika Model,” by Paolo Bacigalupi
“Mr. Thursday,” by Emily St. John Mandel“The Minnesota Weight loss program,” by Charlie Jane Anders“Mother of Invention,” by Nnedi Okorafor“Domestic Violence,” by Madeline Ashby“No Me Dejas,” by Keep Oshiro“Stable Resign,” by Meg Elison“A Immediate and Scared Celebrity,” by Carmen Maria Machado“The Starfish Girl,” by Maureen McHugh“When We Were Patched,” by Deji Bryce Olukotun“Lions and Gazelles,” by Hannu Rajaniemi“Burned-Over Territory,” by Lee Konstantinou