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EP111: Mayfly

By Heather Lindsley.
Read by The Word Whore (of Air Out My Shorts).
First appeared in Strange Horizons, September 2006.

The reflection of what appears to be a girl of eleven looks back at me from the full-length mirror in the bedroom that was my mother’s. Together we spit out yet another baby tooth, which reminds me I need to drink another calcium-enriched protein shake. Either that, or eat what remains of my mother.

She’s the pile of coarse dust scattered across the bedsheets. Some of my kind swear by mother dust, the way certain factions among the rest of the population swear by breast feeding. And there are benefits, whether you’re still a kid with growing bones or an adult woman facing osteoporosis by the end of the week.

But my mother is not strawberry-flavored, so I opt for the shake.

Rated R. Contains sexual scenes and other deep biological imperatives.

Comments (18)

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  1. dave says:

    Maybe I was too tired, but it was kinda hard to follow… Am I alone to say it was boring ?

  2. shiatis says:

    You got your Pseudo Pod in my Escape Pod!

    Two great tastes that did not taste all that great together…

  3. Disagree. Dug it. Even if it was nothing more than a thought experiment, I really enjoyed it.

  4. vellon says:

    It rocked. Biological thought experiment & good narrative. Despite that, am I the only one who thought psuedopod and escape pod got their stories backwards this week?

  5. Interesting concept, well executed — do buy more Heather Lindsley! Though I have a feeling that ancestral memory transmission would be a far more adaptive trait than an extremely short generational cycle. Perhaps something for those Austrian gene-hackin’ babes to work on.

    Hmm… They don’t seem to have read The Ethical Slut.

  6. Earl Newton says:

    I put this on the short list of my personal “Escape Pod” best, because while it was a great thought experiment, I never felt like I was being presented a theory. It consistently put us in the shoes of a person for whom each moment is precious (hence, “roadblocks” or individual hassles have little meaning; there’s no time to sweat the small stuff). Several times through the story, the narrator’s dry, witty insight about human nature made me laugh.

    And when she dug around in the closet, “going back 200 generations to find, among other things, a beaded halter top,” that completely thrust me into her experience and the feeling of being so tightly bound to such a short-lived genetic line.

  7. mfv says:

    I really liked this one!!
    Kept thinking about it all day

  8. Wez says:

    I really like this one. If you ignore all the little details like the ‘how’ and ‘why’, you’re left with a story that makes you want to live your life the way that matters to you.

  9. What about the eleventy-one episode number? I couldn’t quite figger that one out.

  10. Adam DeVeega says:

    First, I adore the word Whore’s voice, especially when she’s sober. She is what turned me onto your podcast by the way.
    Second, I was captivated by the concept of living a lifetime in just a week on a human scale. Fortunately, they had that generational memory to allow them to survive in the human word. I also like the concept of twins at the very end being the means at which they multiply.
    The only question I have, although not important enough to be explained, is how the trust fund could have been established if they only lived a week? Lottery?

  11. I was bored by this one. It’s one of the extremely few podcasts that I skipped partway through so I could hear something more captivating.

  12. Gary H says:

    I laughed out loud at eleventy one. Only a spec fict podcast would say that, good one Steve. That’s why you’re the host. And you pick good stories.

    It was a little on the macabre side, but it kept me engaged. And kept me rooting for her to get, well, uh, find a man.

  13. Mogadeth (aka Kevin from PDX) says:

    Kinda odd ball, but over all liked it.. btw eleventy-one is lotr reference (Bilbo’s eleventy-first b-day festival). Good one Steve.

  14. Sunrider says:

    I LOVED THIS STORY! It definitely makes my top 5 story favorite list.

    And yeah – gotta love the word whore’s voice….

  15. Daniel B. says:

    One of the best. Beautful combination of concept and voice.

    And the author’s earlier work, “Just do it”, was one of the best stories I read last year. Plus I liked her new F&SF one in the current issue.

    Hmmm…I think Heather Lindsley has just been added to my “buy it she’s in it” list.

  16. Jon-o says:

    Interesting – I didn’t find this at all ‘macabre’ or unpleasant at all! It’s an intriguing idea, and I really enjoyed listening. I only wish it had been fleshed out more. The story was full of ideas, but lacked any significant plot. I could see a very interesting story being built around this basic idea though! I wish there was more!

  17. George says:

    Fascinating concept and thorougly enjoyable too