Trying to identify a science fiction short story / novella from 1986-87?
May 6, 2014 7:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to identify a story from my adolescence. It started with an elderly woman realizing she wasn't able to shovel her walk. Her options were to use a snowblower given her by one concerned child/grandchild, or to use a bottle of pills given by another. The pills contained nanobots, and they made her feel so well that she was not only able to do the snow, but began changing her life and having adventures. She continued to age, but technology kept ahead of her, extending her life, until she was one of the oldest humans on earth, and then beyond.


Published in Analog sometime around 1986-87. At least I think that's the time frame. I remember reading it in a certain bedroom which would place it in that time, but we all know how unreliable memory is. Later is more likely than earlier. It's also possible that it was a different SF Magazine, or even an anthology.

I've just spent a few hours looking through table of contents listings of the magazines from that time period, but it seems "That Snowblower and Nanotech Story" isn't its title, so I didn't have much luck.
posted by happyturtle to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There is a SF story identification section over at Stack Exchange.
posted by epo at 7:31 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: "The Gentle Seduction" by Marc Stiegler.
posted by teraflop at 8:40 AM on May 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

Ha! I found a box of old Analog magazines, and just read that story last month. Teraflop called it!
posted by moonmilk at 8:43 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That's it exactly! I just finished re-reading it, to see how it holds up. It can't touch me as it did when I was 16, when I had never heard of nanotechnology or the internet, and the future has already lapped it in a few places (phone books, balancing a checking account) but it still pleases me.

Thank you. :)
posted by happyturtle at 4:02 AM on May 8, 2014

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