REAL CITY by Carrie Vaughn

Jeremy Lyon @ 01-06-2006

Carrie Vaughn‘s “Real City” is a modern Hollywood fable set in a post-post-modern future.

Real City

by Carrie Vaughn

Stalking around the party without her referencing link flashing names and stats at her felt a little like being drunk. It was Cass’s way of making an adventure for herself. Off-balance, senses muffled, she indulged in self-induced paranoia. Smiling faces, links hooked to their ears, nodded in greeting as she passed. They all knew who she was, thanks to their links, and she hadn’t a damn clue about two-thirds of the people here. She was working blind and stupid, and it made her giddy, along with the glass of wine she’d had.

It seemed like most of Hollywood had shown up for the RealCity Productions launch party. Probably because they all wanted to be able to say they’d been here and known the company was doomed from the start.

Vim had said they had to have a party to manufacture hype.

“We don’t have the money for that kind of party,” she’d told him.

“Oh, but we will! We have to throw parties like this if we’re ever going to have enough money to throw parties like this!” Continue reading “REAL CITY by Carrie Vaughn”


PEACE IN OUR TIME by Carrie Vaughn

Jeremy Lyon @ 07-12-2004

Carrie Vaughn‘s “Peace In Our Time” is a story about the last man standing, when war is fought by machines.

[ IMPORTANT NOTICE: This story is NOT covered by the Creative Commons License that covers the majority of content on Futurismic; copyright remains with the author, and any redistribution is a breach thereof. Thanks. ]

Peace In Our Time

by Carrie Vaughn

Two trumpets in harmony called Taps through a cemetery at the edge of a winter prairie. The congregation stayed rigid, forced to stillness by the song. Ken and I stood on the other side of the grave, apart from the others. The last sad note held, echoing with the wind, and faded. Ken shut off the digital player, and I presented the flag.

The words came rote. I didn’t hear myself saying them. They were a continuation of the recording.

“On behalf of the United States of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Eternity presents this token of respect and appreciation for your husband’s service to his country.”

We had a recording of Taps because no one could play it on horn anymore. Matt Barber was the last one I knew who could do it, and he died five years ago. I gave the flag to his son at his funeral.

I had done this so many times, given tightly folded triangles of American flags to widows, sons, daughters, grandchildren. I never wanted to give away one. When I was twenty-one and coming home from China I thought I was done with death. But it started again, a dozen or so years ago. Now, I watched my friends fall to old age, and once again there was nothing I could do but stand at their funerals. I hated this duty then and I hated it now. But someone had to do it. Someone had to stand at attention by the caskets, play Taps, and carry the flag to the family.

There were only two of us left. Continue reading “PEACE IN OUR TIME by Carrie Vaughn”