Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"I Bet the Last Thing She’s Ever Going to Say to You Was Pull the Trigger"

"Meat and Salt and Sparks."
By Rich Larson (born 1992).
Illustration by Scott Bakal (HERE).
Edited by Ellen Datlow (born 1949; HERE).
First appearance:, June 6, 2018.

Reprinted in The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Volume Thirteen (2019).
Short story (22 pages as a PDF).
Online at (HERE).
(Parental warning: Strong profanity.)

     "A futuristic murder mystery about detective partners—a human and an enhanced chimpanzee—who are investigating why a woman murdered an apparently random stranger on the subway."

For Cu, what begins as a simple murder case becomes a search for her own identity . . .

~ Nelson J. Huang:

  "A biolab businessman, San Antonio–based. It’s possible that someone with a personal vendetta knew he would be in Seattle and began laying the groundwork for his murder . . . 
It’s more likely that he was selected at random from the crowd, so someone half the world away could experience homicide vicariously before abandoning her mentally-unstable echogirl."
~ Elody Polle:
  ". . . recently murdered a man, and we don’t think she picked her own target."
~ Lyam Welsh:
  "Not a bomb or anything. Nothing illegal or weird or anything. I swear. You can go look. 
It’s all in the container."
~ Daudi:
  "I was inadequate for her. I couldn’t give her what she wanted."
~ Baby:
  "I Cannot Commit Crime. I Have Had No Personhood Trial. I Never Will. I Will Leave 
Before They Find A Way To Trap Me Here."
~ Al Huxley:
  "Do cams, or something. These people are control freaks. They’ll suck you right in."
~ Cu0824:
  ". . . takes the handgun from its holster and breaks it down. Reassembles it. The trigger 

fits perfectly to the crook of her finger, but she has only ever pulled it at a shooting range, aiming for holograms."

How familiar are you with the following?
~ "Faraday shield" (HERE).
~ "an MDMA derivative" (HERE).
~ "facial recognition software" (HERE) and (HERE).
~ "Uplift" (HERE).
~ "the Turing Line" (HERE).
~ "drone deliver" (HERE).

- Links to other stories by Richard William Larson can be found on his website (HERE); also see his ISFDb bibliography page (HERE).
- For more about simian personhood, see Wikipedia (HERE), and what's known about their intelligence (HERE).


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