Eileen Gunn, the editor of The Infinite Matrix, has published her first collection of short stories, Stable Strategies and Others. I was honoured to get an advance copy for a blurb ("Gunn's stories are in another league entirely -- like Sturgeon or Chiang, she's *sui generis* and anything but generic. Every one of these stories has a pleasing, sharp flavor unlike anything you've ever tasted. Especially the recipe for fruit crisp. Delicious.") and I was blown away by Eileen's fiction -- but don't take my word for it: see the glowing William Gibson intro to her collection gives you an idea of why you should be picking this up ASAP (“Eileen Gunn’s innate sensibilities and cultural smarts have designated her a nodal entity, one of those human intersections where people and ideas meet, and out of which things change.”). Eileen was in charge of MSFT's marketing for the first several years of the company's existence, and the deep geek cred and creativity shines through here.
“...And now, the man you loved to hate, the man you loved too late, the man everyone loves to second-guess, America's own Tricky Dick!” Applause, and the strains of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” A tanned, well-groomed man in a blue blazer and grey slacks walks between the curtains.
He raises his hands above his head in the familiar double V-for-Victory salute to acknowledge the applause, then gestures for quiet.
“Thanks for the hand, folks.” His voice is deep, quiet, and sincere. “You know, I needed that applause today.” A catch in his throat. “Right before the show, I was on my way down here to the studio...” He shakes his head slightly, as if contemplating the role that Chance plays in Life. “An elderly lady came up to me, and she introduced herself, and then she said, 'Oh, Dick, I'm so pleased to meet you, you know you were my all-time favorite presidential candidate...” He lets the compliment hang there a second, as if savoring it. “...after Jack Kennedy, of course.” The audience laughs, appreciating the host who can tell a joke at his own expense. When the laughter has diminished, but before it stops completely, he continues.