True Names

True Names

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True Names by Benjamin Rosenbaum

Published:

2008

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True Names

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A science fiction novella initially published in Lou Anders' "Fast Forward 2" anthology, Pyr, 2008. It's the tale of duelling galactic colony-organisms that are competing to recruit all the matter in the universe for raw computation.

Book Excerpt

angles dimmed in a frown. "I just wondered--in the moment that you opened up that piece of Demiurge... nothing else... happened? I mean, it was really, uh... dead?"

Paquette shuddered. "Dead and cold," she said. "Thank stochasticity."

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Elsewhere, another Paquette, sleepless, pawed through other archives, found another ancient alien clot of raw data, studied it, learned its secrets, and learned the common genesis of Self and Foe--and suddenly could no longer bear the mystery alone, and turned away from the lifeless hulk. A party, this other Paquette thought. There's one going on now; that would be just the thing. Talk with colleagues, selfsurf, flirt with filterboys--anything to get away from here for a bit, to gain perspective.

But something made this other Paquette turn back--turn and reach out and touch a part of the Demiurge fragment she hadn't touched before.

Its matte black surface incandesced to searing light, and this other Paquette was seized and pulled away, out

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