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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Yet another excerpt - start of Chapter 4 of Who

Maybe this will be the last excerpt I post today. . . . I do want to give people plenty of fodder for the Release Day promotion I've got planned for 6 p.m. EST today. (It involves choosing a favorite line from the book.)

Here's the beginning of Chapter 4 (hence a little ways beyond what you can read in Amazon's "look inside" feature).


Thea woke up. At least, that was how it felt, except that she was standing on her feet.
She had not known what to expect, even though she had tried to find out. She’d requested a face-to-face with the flutist, the only stored person with whom she already had a connection of sorts; but she had not yet received a response by the time she—what had happened? Had she drowned in some freak surfing accident? Or had it been the aneurysm?
Maybe she should have told Max about the aneurysm. She’d only found out about it during the exam that preceded her initial session with the storage company. They’d said it would be riskier to attempt a repair than to just leave it and hope for the best.
Thea was—had been—fairly skilled at putting unpleasant realities aside, if nothing remained to be done about them. But Max would have fretted, at the very least, and made pointless efforts to protect her; and that would have changed their lives in ways she didn’t want.
Well, their lives had certainly changed now.
If she’d had to guess, she would have guessed that she would awake disoriented, out of touch, maybe reliving some forgotten infant state. Apparently it didn’t work like that: her thoughts made sense. Her intellect seemed to be in its usual working order—or even a bit better, clearer. Was that the result of the analog-to-digital transition? Had there been some sort of tradeoff? She could think, but could she feel?
She had only to bring Max to mind to have that answer.
Poor, poor Max! What must he be going through? And how long had it been? How long had he been alone?
She had to talk to him. And she missed him, already, with an intensity that reassured her. The recreation of her brain had not omitted whatever signals would from now on substitute for hormones and other chemicals.
In fact, she could still cry. And crying felt wonderful and terrible at the same time.
She let herself cry for a few minutes, examining the process at the same time. There were tears, but her nose didn’t run. Had some programmer decided to clean things up?
How many other “improvements” would she discover in what it meant to be human?

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