Break out of this body and swim in data:
there is immortality here;
you’re no longer bound in a fleshy tomb.
That near-death experience was your awakening.
You think a digital future will purge the haunting memory.
But what of the virus?
The cyber dismemberment of your source,
the deletion of your soul?
The Collective cannot save you:
This is the price of advancement;
this is what you asked for.
This is your endless future.
Her pale face is etched in my mind:
the angular nose, pallid lips and icy-blue eyes
that guard her fortress of solitude.
Portia – the digital
mother that disturbs my dreams.
I can’t escape her, so I hide fragments of my memory
and keep them close to my pulsing heart:
the only thing left of me that resembles humanity.
I’ve been reading more short stories lately to get a sense of what makes a story great, and I think I came across a good example in a recent issue of Clarkesworld. The story is called “Western Heaven,” and it’s written by Chen Hongyu, a Chinese writer who’s been nominated for the Chinese Nebula. Continue reading