The Sycamore Hill Anthology

-- Bicycle Repairman -- Bruce Sterling --

-- It would have to be chip-driven, of course, but true to the biking spirit at the time. A lot of bikes had chips in them nowadays, in the shocks or the braking or in reactive hubs, but bicycles weren't simply like computers. Computers were black boxes inside, no big visible working parts. People, by contrast, got sentimental about their bike gear. People were strangely reticent and traditional about bikes. That's why the bike market had never really gone for recumbents, even though the recumbent design had a big mechanical advantage. People didn't like their bikes too complicated. They didn't want bicycles to bitch and complain and whine for attention and constant upgrading the way that computers did. Bikes were too personal. People wanted their bikes to wear.

-- The Marianas Islands -- Karen Joy Fowler --

-- "Here's what I don't believe in," says the Great Unknown. He ticks them off on his fingers for me. "I don't believe in astrology, numerology, pyramid power. I don't believe in the tooth fairy, sad for you, because you stand to make out well today. I don't believe in God, although I do accord Him the capital G, as a courtesy to those who do." He pauses here to nod to Grams who has always been a churchgoer, then picks right up. "I don't believe in phlogiston, extraterrestrials who abduct you and probe Uranus, the orgone box, Silva Mind Control, Scientology" -- he has come to the end of his fingers and starts with the first again -- "or witchcraft."
     "I think that our inept government could never keep a secret as big as a CIA-slash-Mafia-slash-Cuban conspiracy to kill JFK," says the Great Unknown.
     "What I do believe in is the desperate fight against the perils of routine living that they all represent. I believe in each man's need to feel that he has somehow been chosen. It's not everyone who has a submarine." He fixes Grams with a stern look. "The rest of us simply make do with Elvis sightings."
     "Life is a series of evasive maneuvers," he observes in conclusion. "You have to envy anyone with the means to make a clean escape."