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Name this story?
March 26, 2011 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Can you tell me the name and author of this story? Aliens contact earth, but they say they will only negotiate with humanity through [woman's name] - it is up to [woman] to decree if humanity is given vast boons of technology, or if it is destroyed by the aliens.

A worldwide search is conducted for [woman's name], and she turns out to be an old woman in a nursing home.

Quickly, her teeth are fixed up, her health issues are addressed. Just before making her decision she is asked (by the media?) how she feels... and she says something snarky to the effect of "Yes, you did all this wonderful stuff for me, but if the aliens hadn't named me, I'd still be in pain and forgotten in a nursing home, wouldn't I?"

The story ends (I think) before we find out her decision.
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is almost certainly not the book you're thinking of, but your description is somewhat reminiscent of Elizabeth Moon's Remnant Population - there, an old woman manages to get herself deserted alone on an alien planet, where she ends up getting to know the aliens and the aliens basically demand that she be treated well and as their ambassador for negotiating with humanity.
posted by Eshkol at 7:39 PM on March 26, 2011


I think it's a James Tiptree story....I have it in an anthology somewhere. Might be Pat Cadigan.
posted by Frowner at 8:18 PM on March 26, 2011


Thank you Frowner... googling [nursing home] + [Tiptree] helped me find it at last!

It was "Midnight News" by Lisa Goldstein.
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us at 10:51 PM on March 26, 2011


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