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John Varley's unique blend of startling technology and genuinely human characters has won him every major science fiction award several times over for both his novels and his short fiction.
Blue Champagne collects eight thought-provoking stories from one of the genre's undisputed masters, including the Hugo Award-winner "The Pusher," and the Hugo and Nebula award-winner "Press Enter."
Markham showed me just how original he really is. I was eating breakfast and this guy—he was a lifeguard, are you ready?—he tripped over his feet and dropped his plate in my lap. Well, while he was cleaning me up he started dropping cute lines at a rate that would have made Neil Simon green. Sorry, getting historical again. Let’s just say he sounded like he was reading from a script . . . he made that shitty little scene we played out together yesterday seem just wonderful. His smile was phony as
the light in its thousand and one windows. It had been composing a thought-poem around that theme when the corpse first came to its attention. There was a pretty irony about the probe. Less than a meter in diameter, it was equipped with sensitive radar, very good visible-light camera eyes, and a dim awareness. Its sentient qualities came from a walnut-sized lump of human brain tissue cultured in a lab. This was the cheapest and simplest way to endow a machine with certain human qualities that
see.” He studied her. Perhaps she would. He looked into her eyes for a long time, and at last let her see his satisfaction. “Very well. You can keep it then.” “I’ll wait for him,” she said. “You’ll see.” * * * She was very tired; almost asleep. “You should go home now,” he suggested. “Maybe I could just lie down for a moment,” she said. “All right.” He lifted her gently and placed her prone on the ground. He stood looking down at her, then knelt beside her and began to gently
the first time. But what did she want? Honestly, she could not see what else could be done. It certainly wasn’t fair to disrupt the entire meeting with a crying baby. She wished she knew the answer. Those were her friends out there, yet her feeling of alienation was intense, staring through the glass wall that Eddie was smudging with his dirty fingers. Luckily, Feather was a perfect angel on the trip home. She gurgled and smiled toothlessly at a woman who had stopped to admire her, and Cleo
other hand, and ignored the food cooling on her plate. She was hungry but at least she was not eating for two. “Jules, I’d ask you before I rearrange the furniture. We both own this apartment. I’d ask you before I put Lilli or Paul in another school. We share the responsibility for their upbringing. But I don’t ask you when I put on lipstick or cut my hair. It’s my body.” “I like it, Mom,” Lilli said. “You look like me.” Cleo smiled at her, reached over and tousled her hair. “What do you