Author Topic: "Rejiggering the Thingamajig"  (Read 7089 times)

Eric James Stone

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"Rejiggering the Thingamajig"
« on: November 18, 2009, 02:13:20 AM »
My short story "Rejiggering the Thingamajig" (which happens to be my current favorite among my published stories) is now available in the January/February 2010 issue of Analog Science Fiction magazine.  The Orem Barnes & Noble had three copies when I checked.

Here's the beginning, to whet your appetite:
The teleport terminal had not been built with tyrannosaurus sapiens in mind.

Resisting the urge to knock human-sized chairs about with her tail, Bokeerk squatted on the tile floor, folded the claws of her forelimbs together, and concentrated on her breathing.  Meditation would calm her nerves.  What should have been a two-minute waystop as she switched to a different teleport line had stretched to three hours, and being the only passenger in the terminal creeped her out.

The cheerful voice of the customer service AI roused Bokeerk from her trance.  "It is my pleasure to inform you that the cause of the technical difficulties in the galactic teleport network has been found."

Bokeerk perked up and rose on her hind legs, remembering just in time to duck her head so it wouldn't bang the ceiling lamps.  "Please send me to Krawlak," she said.  It was unlikely that any of her eggs would hatch for another few days yet, but she was anxious to get home.

"It is with the utmost regret that I must tell you that will not be possible at this time," said the AI, with a tone of such abysmal sorrow that Bokeerk's eyes could not help but moisten with sympathetic tears.  "I require assistance in repairing the problem."

Bokeerk lowered herself into a squat again.  "When will help get here?"  She looked at the time display on the digital assistant strapped to her left forelimb.  She had now been stranded for three hours and fifty-two minutes.

"I estimate a spaceship carrying a repair crew could be here within twelve years," said the AI.  Its voice seemed to have lost the customer service aspect.

"Twelve years?"  Bokeerk's voice made the ceiling lamps tremble.

"Without the teleport network, repair crews are limited to slower-than-light travel.  However, I believe we can avoid such a long wait if you will assist me."

"I don't know anything about repairing teleports," said Bokeerk.  "I illustrate children's books.  I'm on my way home from the Galactic Children's Book Fair."
Eric James Stone
Nebula Award Nominated Author
Read my serialized novel Unforgettable for free online.