By Pat Cadigan
“That’s a long time to wait.” The navigator’s smile widened. He was very attractive, holo-star kind of handsome. People who work for aliens, Etan thought. “Perhaps you’d care to wait in my employer’s transport. For that matter, I can probably repair your vehicle, which will save you time and money. Roadside rescue fees are exorbitant.”
“That’s very kind,” Etan said, “but I have called, and I don’t want to impose—“
“It was my employer’s idea to stop, sir. I agreed, of course. My employer is quite fond of people. In fact, my employer loves people. And I’m sure you would be rewarded in some way.”
About the Author
Pat Cadigan sold her first professional science fiction story in 1980; her success as an author encouraged her to become a full-time writer in 1987. She emigrated to London in the UK with her son Rob Fenner in 1996, where she is married to her third husband, Christopher Fowler (not to be confused with the author of the same name). She became a UK citizen in late 2014.
Cadigan’s first novel, Mindplayers, introduces what becomes the common theme to all her works: her stories blur the line between reality and perception by making the human mind a real, explorable place. Her second novel, Synners, expands upon the same theme; both feature a future where direct access to the mind via technology is possible. While her stories include many of the gritty, unvarnished characteristics of the cyberpunk genre, she further specializes in this exploration of the speculative relationship between technology and the perceptions of the human mind.
Cadigan has won a number of awards. These include a 2013 Hugo Award for “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” in the Best Novelette category, presented at LoneStarCon 3, the 71st World Science Fiction Convention, held in San Antonio, Texas over the 2013 Labor Day weekend, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award both in 1992 and 1995 for her novels Synners and Fools.
Robert A. Heinlein in part dedicated his 1982 novel Friday to Cadigan after becoming her friend, following her being the guest liaison to him for the 34th Worldcon in Kansas City.
About the Narrator
Serah Eley is the original producer, editor and host of Escape Pod. She mispronounced her name as Steve Eley at the time, but has since realized that life is much more fun as a woman, and came out as transgender in 2015. Serah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two spouses (she prefers “spice”), Sadi and Cat.
So if there were ever any betting pools on what happened to Steve: the dark-horse winner is “changed sex and joined a committed lesbian love triangle.” She is, obviously, still Having Fun.