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"It was probable," said the ship "But not certain."
Trueborn scholars pinpoint what the ship did next as its first step toward independent sentience. In its memoirs, the ship credits the children with teaching it to misbehave.
It played a prank.
"Loving you," said the ship, "is like catching rain on my tongue. You bathe..."
"Stop," Mada shouted. "Stop right now!"
"Got you!" The ship gloated. "Four minutes, fifty-one seconds."
'Owen," she said, her voice a silken purr. "That was the one.' 'Is that your comment?"
"No." Mada was astonished-and pleased-that she still existed. She knew that in most timelines her ident.i.ty must have been obliterated by the mine. Thinking about those brave, lost selves made her more sad than proud. "This is my comment," she said. "I'm ready now"
Owen coughed uncertainly. "Umm, already?"
She squawked and pushed him off her. "Not for that." She sifted his hair through her hands. "To be with you forever."
"Computer Virus" copyright 2001 by Nancy Kress. First appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2001.
"Charlie's Angels" by Terry Bisson, copyright by Terry Bisson and Scifi.com. Originally published by Scifi.com, August 15, 2001.
Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent, Susan Ann Protter. "The Measure of All Things"
copyright 2000 by Richard Chwedyk. First appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
"Russian Vine" copyright 2001 by Simon Ings. First appeared in SciFiction.
"Under's Game" copyright 2001 by Michael Swanwick. First appeared in SciFiction.
"A Matter of Mathematics" copyright 2001 by Brian W. Aldiss. First appeared in Supertoys Last All Summer Long by Brian W. Aldiss.
"Creative Destruction" copyright 2001 by Edward M. Lerner. First appeared in a.n.a.log, March 2001. Reprinted by permission of the author. "Resurrection" copyright 2001 by David Morrell. First appeared in Redshift.
"The Cat's Pajamas" copyright 2001 by James Morrow. First appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
"The Dog Said Bow-Wow" copyright 2001 by Michael Swanwick. First appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction.
"The Building" copyright 2001 by Ursula K. Le Guin; first appeared in Redshift. Reprinted by permission of the author and the author's agents, the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc.
"Gray Earth" copyright 2001 by Stephen Baxter. First appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction.
"The Lagan Fishers" copyright 2001 by Terry Dowling. First appeared in SciFiction.
"In Xanadu" copyright 2001 by Thomas M. Disch. First appeared in Redshift.
"The Go-Between" copyright 2001 by Lisa Goldstein. First appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction.
"Viewpoint" copyright 2001 by Gene Wolfe; first appeared in Redshift.
Reprinted by permission of the author and the author's agents, the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc.
"Anomalies" by Gregory Benford copyright 2001 by Abbenford a.s.sociates. First appeared in Redshift.
"Glacial" copyright 2001 by Alastair Reynolds. First appeared in Spectrum SF.
"Undone" copyright 2001 by James Patrick Kelly. First appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2001.