What Sci-Fi Short Story is this?
October 11, 2010 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify this sci-fi short story.

I read it in an anthology 10+ years ago that included this short story I'm trying to track down.

Details I remember:
* The protagonist (male) believes that God communicates to us through randomness
* He attempts to find increasingly "pure" sources of randomness to decipher (e.g. white noise, radioactive decay)
* He believes his name is spelled with a silent six (e.g. Dav6id)

Any ideas?
posted by jstrachan to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
 
Sounds like it's this one:
The Spade of Reason, Jim Cowan
A very likable story about how Cax6ton watched Sesame Street one day as a child and learned about silent ‘e’. He then knew his name was spelled Cax6ton, but the six is silent. Anyway, the story is mostly about his pursuit of god. His chosen method is to look for English narrative in strings of random digits and letters. He pursues better and better sources of randomness over the years because as most people know, random numbers in computers aren’t truly random. It’s kind of a take-off on quantum physics, where positions aren’t truly set. There are only probabilities that something is in a particular place. Which, if there’s anywhere god is going to operate in this universe, it would be there. So he waits for god to speak to him.
From the Year's Best Science Fiction #16.
posted by dayintoday at 12:51 PM on October 11, 2010


Yup, that's gotta be the one. At one point his dad says "That's funny, I always fancied there was a 6 there myself when I was young."
posted by restless_nomad at 1:02 PM on October 11, 2010


Astounding. Thanks for the (very quick) help!
posted by jstrachan at 6:05 PM on October 11, 2010


Reminds me of the Tom Lehrer bit about the fellow who spelled his name Hen3ry. The 3 was silent, you see.
posted by Bruce H. at 7:13 PM on October 11, 2010


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