a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
I found this to be a strange story. It switches between a few time periods in the future and in the past. The present is about a young girl, Augusta - “Gus” - who develops over time into a math and physics genius, living to be a 113 and becoming one of the richest people on earth, discovering “mu-space” and interstellar travel shortcut to alpha-Centauri. The past explores the adulterous relations her ancestor, Ada Lovelace is rumored to have had during her lifetime (A very-married Ada Lovelace having laudanum-induced erotic dreams about Charles Babbage and John Crosse while simultaneously thinking about the power of mechanical computers and the logic which Babbage and she have created, the power of “the pattern beneath the world”.)
Math content is fairly low, though there are mathematical references, and does have Ada Lovelace as a main character. The story did not hold my attention.
This story is only barely science fiction. However, Gus also is mentioned in Meaney's science fiction novel Resolution.
This story first appeared in Interzone 183 (2002), was reprinted in 2003's The Year's Best Science Fiction, ed. Gardner Dozois, and is also available in a 2020 anthology of the same name.
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)