I read the next story in the Future Visions anthology. Even though I’m a bit late getting the review up (gymnastics meet coupled with a final exam to give meant a bit of craziness), I still wanted to read the next story and review it. This one was by Elizabeth Bear. She’s another multi-award winning author, but this time I’ve actually had the pleasure of reading one of her books – New Amsterdam.
Genre: science fiction
Setting: a generic future concert hall
Summary: Our narrator is a singer/performer out on tour. She’s starting to lose market share because she’s no longer on the edge of the trends and she’s too stable to generate gossip. Her publicist convinces her to try the Starfish app that can record and transmit emotions, to give her a bump in popularity. The first concert she wears it on, she finishes up and finds her manager dead in her dressing room, with the Starfish recording her response. She’s pretty certain the publicist did it to generate buzz, so she pirates her response so he can’t sell it.
Final thoughts: This one seemed pretty realistic. Yes, we can’t record and transmit emotions, but if we could, this would happen. The publicist is all about the buzz for his clients, and what better way to generate buzz than to record her response to a murder! She was a bit too smart for him, though, and made she he couldn’t capitalize on the situation.
Title comes from: It comes from the phrase having skin in the game, where the publicist tried to ensure his client would succeed using nefarious means.