A Programmatic Approach to Perfect Happiness
By Tim Pratt
My step-daughter Wynter, who is regrettably prejudiced against robots and those who love us, comes floating through the door in a metaphorical cloud of glitter instead of her customary figurative cloud of gloom. She enters the kitchen, rises up on the toes of her black spike-heeled boots, wraps her leather-braceleted arms around my neck, and places a kiss on my cheek, leaving behind a smear of black lipstick on my artificial skin and a whiff of white make-up in my artificial nose.
“Hi Kirby,” she says, voice all bubbles and light, when normally she would never deign to utter my personal designation.
“Is Moms around? Haven’t talked to her in a million.”
I know right away that Wynter has been infected.
About the Author
Tim Pratt is the author of over 20 novels, most recently Philip K. Dick Award finalist The Wrong Stars. As T.A. Pratt he wrote ten novels in the Marla Mason urban fantasy series. His stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy, and other nice places. He’s a Hugo Award winner for short fiction, and has been a finalist for World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Stoker, Mythopoeic, and Nebula Awards, among others. He’s a senior editor at Locus magazine, and lives in Berkeley CA with his family. Every month he writes a new story for his Patreon supporters at www.patreon.com/timpratt.
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.