Hey, would you be interested in reading a chapter from my forthcoming Tor Books novel Company Town? If so, you’re in luck, because VICE’s tech and SF blog Motherboard has posted it for your holiday reading pleasure. “Be Seeing You” is also part of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pwning Tomorrow anthology, which features stories from (among others) Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, Kameron Hurley, Ramez Naam, Charlie Jane Anders, and Annalee Newitz. In other words, I’m really lucky that the folks at Motherboard chose to feature my story!
Company Town is the story of Go Jung-hwa, a bodyguard for the United Sex Workers of Canada who gets hired to watch over the heir to the Lynch energy empire when the company buys the oil platform around which her city floats. This chapter takes place shortly after that hiring, when Hwa is wrestling with the realities of working for her new corporate overlords. It’s actually one of my favourite chapters, because it really feels (to me) like a near-future episode of Veronica Mars.
So check it out:
“How did you know my order?” Hwa asked.
Síofra rolled his neck. It crunched. He was avoiding the answer. Hwa already suspected what he would say. “I see the purchases you make with the corporate currency.”
She scowled. “I don’t always have the eggs baked in avocado, you know. Sometimes I have green juice.”
“Not since the cucumbers went out of season.”
Hwa stared. Síofra cocked his head. “You’re stalking me.”
“I’m not stalking you. This is just how Lynch does things. We know what all our people buy in the canteen at lunch, because they use our watches to do it. It helps us know what food to buy. That way everyone can have their favourite thing. The schools here do the same thing-it informs the farm floors what to grow. This is no different.”
Hwa sighed. “I miss being union.”
I’m also pretty pleased that Company Town has found its way onto two “Most Anticipated of 2016” lists, at Barnes & Noble and editor Jonathan Strahan’s blog. (Someone told me they also saw it mentioned in a list at Locus Magazine, but so far I haven’t been able to find a link to it. If you saw it, let me know!) It’s a lovely Christmas present, and I couldn’t be happier.