Sunday, January 24, 2010
Short Story by Will McIntosh
Published in Asimov's
Later Podcast by Starship Sofa, read by Amy H. Sturgis
What happens when we have the technology to wake up all the cryogenically frozen people? Fixing whatever killed them is sure to be expensive, so who'd really want to waste the money? Lonely/creepy old men of course!
Mira wakes up after her car crash, confused and disoriented, in a "dating center". She finds out that the only way to get revived is to convince a random man to marry her. Except she is a lesbian. As one of the older people stored in the dating center, she doesn't get many visitors wanting to wake her up for a date, hundreds of years pass between prospective husbands. Eventually she finds out her true love is frozen in the same facility. The question remains, is death somehow better than loveless marriage? Probably not. Takes the whole "I'd rather be dead than sleep with you" comment to a new level of seriousness.
Anyway, the story has a much nicer ending than the downer I'd probably have wrote, but it is still a good one. There is a small subplot about just what happened in the accident, and I found the whole marriage-for-revival situation to be suitably horrifying-yet-plausible. Well done. Just one question: WHY ARE THERE NO LESBIANS IN THE FUTURE? Seriously, this isn't even remarked on, everyone takes the whole bridesicle trade as male exclusive without a second thought. Our protagonist is a lesbian, but when she brings it up, everyone is doubleplus shocked. And nobody ever thought to ask.
Despite the conspicuous, unexplained absence of homosexuality in a future liberal enough to allow fluorescent orange-skinned lawyers, I'd give this horrifying future/bittersweet love story a 4 out of 5.