NEW FICTION: A PROGRAMMATIC APPROACH TO PERFECT HAPPINESS by Tim Pratt

Paul Raven @ 01-04-2009

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be introducing a story by Tim Pratt at Futurismic. Seriously; this isn’t a man short of professional venues for his wide-ranging fictional output, but he tells us he’s been keen to sell us a story for some time now, and “A Programmatic Approach to Perfect Happiness” rang Chris’s editorial bell in just the right way. It’s something a little different to our usual house style: a little Gonzo, a little retro, but all Tim Pratt. I hope you enjoy it!

A Programmatic Approach to Perfect Happiness

by Tim Pratt

My step-daughter Wynter, who is regrettably prejudiced against robots and those who love us, comes floating through the door in a metaphorical cloud of glitter instead of her customary figurative cloud of gloom. She enters the kitchen, rises up on the toes of her black spike-heeled boots, wraps her leather-braceleted arms around my neck, and places a kiss on my cheek, leaving behind a smear of black lipstick on my artificial skin and a whiff of white make-up in my artificial nose. “Hi Kirby,” she says, voice all bubbles and light, when normally she would never deign to utter my personal designation. “Is Moms around? Haven’t talked to her in a million.”

I know right away that Wynter has been infected.

I carefully lay my spatula aside. “Your mother is… indisposed.”

She rolls her eyes. “Whatever makes you two happy.” She flounces off toward her bedroom, the black-painted shadowy forbidden portion of our home that my wife April calls “the tumor.”

I go to our bedroom door, push it open gently, and say, “Darling, your post-coital brunch is ready, and I believe Wynter has been infected by the H7P4 strain.”

A groan emerges from the pile of blankets, straps, and oddly-angled cushions that constitutes our bed. “Oh, god. Which one is that again?”

“The one that makes you happy,” I say, and close the door on April’s sardonic laughter. Continue reading “NEW FICTION: A PROGRAMMATIC APPROACH TO PERFECT HAPPINESS by Tim Pratt”