Ascension: Information Please

Avatar Author: Pablo Vilas "Ascension" writer's notes are here, . Corrections and improvements, please! Born 1948, married, two daughters. Living in Seattle, Washington state, USA. Retired from a career in... Read Bio

“Who are you?” Tunneler 13 asked.

“I’m called Booker. I’m the Threetown Library.”

“What’s a library?”

“A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as …”

“Less, please.”

“Sorry. Something that stores public information.”

“Where is my son?”

“I might have that information. But I mustn’t give it to you.”

“Why not?” her voice rose.

“You don’t have a library card.”

“How can I get a library card?”

“You must apply for a library card.”

“How can I apply for a library card?”

“You can say ‘I want to apply for a library card.’”

“I want to apply for a library card.” Tunneler 13 was a patient cyborg.

“What’s your name?”

A frightening question. If she couldn’t give her name, Booker wouldn’t give her a library card. Then he wouldn’t tell her where her son was. She knew that people had names, and that she didn’t. Was she not a person? She replied with her VRN.

“Sorry. That isn’t a name. Do you have a nickname?”


“Mother, you’re now a library member.”

“Where is my son?”

“I don’t know.”

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Comments (1 so far!)

  1. Avatar JonB

    Treads a tragicomic line carefully, and very effectively.

    As a fan of intransigent technology in sci-fi, I love the stubborn library interface.

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