Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Skin in the Game, by Elizabeth Bear

Published in Future Visions:Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft, edited by Elizabeth Bear, Melchior Media, November 2015

Neon is a singer and musician, with a stunningly successful career, and a current tour that is almost successful enough. Her manager comes to her with a new bit of tech he insists will push her back up to the very top, and she has the chance to be the first to use it. She'll be at the cutting edge again, not a performer starting to pass from the very top to the start of decline.

It records emotions and shares them with the audience. It will be a new type of concert experience, and a new type of recording available afterwards.

Neon has her doubts. She has serious doubts. She doesn't particularly like or trust her manager, Peter, and has been thinking she should have dumped him before the start of the tour. And how thoroughly does she want to merchandise herself?

But she knows she needs something new, something different. And this Clownfish app could be that edge.

She tries it, it works, it's a wildly successful night. And she comes off the stage and back to her dressing room to discover how far Peter was willing to go to guarantee the best possible results from this new app and her use of it.

Bear plays out the emotions with skill and heart, and Neon is smart, tough, and creative.

Recommended.

This book was available free on Amazon when I downloaded it.