Sam J. Miller. We Are the Cloud. (Lightspeed Magazine #53, September 2014)

modern city at night with financial backgroundAn excellent story from an author new to me, with a good mix of technology and social issues, and an interesting lead character.

The protagonist is Angel QuiƱone, a 6-6 hulk of a boy in a group home. It’s residential child care, although without the care. Angel is very much on his own, separated from his peers by his size and speech impediment, and his mother by her previous substance misuse and her current partner. It’s an all-too-possible near future, and Angel, like many others with few prospects in life, has a shunt into his brain, which is connected by wifi to a data grid, leasing out some of his brain space.

He has a rare ability with his shunt, and when he meets another guy, Case, his life changes.

It’s a well-told story, think a bit of Midnight Cowboy crossed with William Gibson’s ‘Burning Chrome’. Good to see a same-sex relationship and some darker recesses explored.

More from this issue here.

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