SF story about formerly-mortal woman
June 27, 2009 11:44 AM   Subscribe

SFShortStoryFilter: Looking for a short(ish) story I must have read in one of the more popular SF anthologies about a human race of nigh-immortals spread out through several verses.

The protagonist of the story was a woman who had been born before the advent of the technology of gradually supplanting the human brain with some sort of crystal medium. This made her practically unique in an infinite sea of later generations, and infinitely lonely. She had also, somehow, been responsible for humanity's expansion into different dimensions/verses through some sort of mathematical breakthrough.

Other details I remember:

She'd had a friend in her youth who'd managed to commit suicide. Either that friend or the protagonist herself had some Hungarian-sounding name (Magda? Margit? something like that). There was a game in the story that was reminiscent of volleyball with energy waves. Also, when people grew tired of their surroundings they never said goodbye, they just packed up and slipped away quietly in the night, to set up in some other community.
posted by tigrrrlily to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hm. It sounds vaguely Greg Egan-ish, but I don't recognize it.
posted by hattifattener at 11:59 AM on June 27, 2009

Best answer: Greg Egan's "Border Guards", looks like (I'm reading it now).
posted by The Tensor at 1:52 PM on June 27, 2009

Response by poster: How cool is that??? Thanks, Tensor. Did you just google something I hadn't thought of? And good call, hattifattener. I wouldn't have guessed Egan, and I had read the damn thing.
posted by tigrrrlily at 2:18 PM on June 27, 2009

I remembered the brain-crystal was called the "Ndoli jewel" and googled around a bit. I was about to give up, but I noticed that most (or all?) of Egan's stories are online, so I checked a few out. The beginning of the story is about quantum soccer -- bingo!

Great story, thanks for wanting to find it. :) I wish Egan would write more short fiction.
posted by The Tensor at 2:24 PM on June 27, 2009

Uh, how totally bizarre. I just began reading a short story collection, today, called Beyond Singularity, and that's exactly the story to which I am turned. I am guessing that may have been the collection in which you read it.
posted by adipocere at 6:11 PM on June 27, 2009

Response by poster: Had to be Year's Best Science Fiction 17, actually. But that really is bizarre :-)

Hm. Crystal -> jewel. No search AI would have made that leap for me, at least not yet...
posted by tigrrrlily at 6:35 PM on June 27, 2009

« Older Getting Potatoes Right   |   I'm totally convinced they're satanists. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.