Installing a network for the Church of Accelerated Redemption is just another crappy job in a series of crappy jobs for Lisa, an American engineer stuck doing menial work in Paris. That the Church uses artificial intelligences to power its never-ending prayer machines doesn't interest her at all: they're paying, and she needs enough money to survive in an increasingly crumbling world. Until a demonstration outside the Church's headquarters, and the appearance of Stéphane, an enigmatic man Lisa finds herself powerfully drawn to. What lies beneath his headscarf, why is he so interested in the Church - and how far will she be willing to go in order to earn his trust?
Aliette de Bodard, winner of the Nebula, Locus and BSFA Awards, teams up with BSFA Award-winner Gareth L. Powell to present an uplifting short story of machines and humans, of intense emotions and cutting-age technology culled from tomorrow’s headlines.
“Full of character and wit” - Zone SF
"Wonderful and full of promise.” - SF Revu
Aliette de Bodard is a French-American speculative fiction writer. She is of French/Vietnamese descent, born in the USA, and grew up in Paris. French is her mother-tongue, but she writes in English. A graduate of École Polytechnique, she works as a software engineer specialising in image processing and is a member of the Written in Blood writers group.
She was a 2007 winner of Writers of the Future, and in 2009 was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She has been published in Interzone, Hub magazine, Black Static, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Asimov's, Realms of Fantasy, Apex Magazine, among others.
She won the 2012 Nebula Award and Locus Award for Best Short Story for her short story ... (more)