1998 Hugo Winner!
By Mike Resnick.
Read by Steven Burley and Gregg Taylor (of Decoder Ring Theatre).
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First appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, December 1997.
All stories by Mike Resnick.
All stories read by Steven Burley and Gregg Taylor.
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?”
Rated PG. Contains mild documentary references to violence and sexual acts. It’s also not very upbeat.