Title says it all, really; Tim Pratt’s a mean lean fiction writing machine, and his appearance here at Futurismic with “A Programmatic Approach to Perfect Happiness” is just one publication among very many. Over at SF Signal, you can hear Karen Burnham and Patrick Hester in conversation with Tim, which strikes me as an ideal way to screen out the tedium of April 1st on the internet. I’ve not listened to it yet, but I’m hoping it contains news about the potential global syndication of the #officebaby franchise…
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