"Talk Girl" is set within the world of Wil McCarthy’s novel Antediluvian, out in October 2019 from Baen Books. McCarthy is a former contributing editor for WIRED magazine and science columnist for the SyFy channel, where his "Lab Notes" column ran for ten years. His short fiction has graced the pages of magazines like Analog, Asimov's, WIRED, and SF Age, and his novels include Bloom, The Collapsium (a national bestseller), and To Crush the Moon. He has also written for TV, and appeared on the History Channel and the Science Channel. In addition to fiction and journalism, McCarthy also writes patents for a top law firm in Dallas.
Fiction Short Story
My machine was different than Harv Leonel's. Extracting the quantum memories that cling to highly conserved biological structures . . . well, it's a dicey business under the best of circumstances, and Leonel was plucking the very lowest-hanging fruit from that tree. For the rest of us, he left either scraps beneath the table or luscious morsels far out of reach. Not that his journey was an easy one, or free of costs. Certainly not. And yet, in being first he was, in many ways, the mnemochronnaut with the least to prove. Which is a funny thing, if you think about what happened afterward.
The Ice Age he claims to have traveled back to is corroborated here and there by archeological or linguistic or genetic evidence, and our very cultural notions of those time periods are increasingly shaped by his experience. Who hasn't seen the CGI landscape reconstructions from National Geographic? Heard the lilt and jabber of the ancient languages he claims to have spoken? Who hasn't watched the movie, with Sidney Smith playing all five title roles?
And yet, nearly half of Real Scientists consider Leonel a crank, and his staff a team of either world-class chumps or third-rate charlatans.
"Are you ready, Beth?" Shirley asked me as I leaned back in the seizure chair. We were in my garage, heaped high with second-hand and scratch-built equipment. Was I ready?
What a question.Read More