1998 Hugo Winner!
Rated PG. Contains mild documentary references to violence and sexual acts. It’s also not very upbeat.
The 43 Antarean Dynasties
By Mike Resnick
A man, a woman, and a child emerge from the Temple of the Honored Sun. The woman holds a camera to her eye, capturing the same image from a dozen unimaginative angles. The child, his lip sparsely covered with hair that is supposed to imply maturity, never sees beyond the game he is playing on his pocket computer. The man looks around to make sure no one is watching him, grinds out a smokeless cigar beneath his heel, and then increases his pace until he joins them.
They approach me, and I will myself to become one with my surroundings, to insinuate myself into the marble walls and stone walkways before they can speak to me.
I am invisible. You cannot see me. You will pass me by.
“Hey, fella — we’re looking for a guide,” says the man. “You interested?”
About the Author
Mike Resnick is an American science fiction writer and was executive editor of Jim Baen’s Universe. Resnick’s style is known for the inclusion of humor; he has probably sold more humorous stories than any science fiction author except Robert Sheckley, and even his most grim and serious stories have frequent unexpected bursts of humor in them. Resnick enjoys collaborating, especially on short stories.