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Geoff Ryman

interviewed by Kit Reed


Kit Reed and Geoff Ryman met in cyberspace for two real-time conversations in July, 2004. Unlike email interviews, real-time encounters are spontaneous. The questions and answers flow as fast as Reed and Ryman can type. They talked on Wesleyan University's StoryMOO for two hours. The entrance to StoryMOO looks like this:

Dream Plaza

You are in the center of a dusty plaza where everything is slightly strange. If you are in doubt, type HELP ME. To see where you are, type MAP. The plaza is lined with low adobe buildings-- one on the west carries a fading sign: RedWriter's place. To the east you see the Semiotic Detective Agency and to the north, The House of 3. A path leads south to Story Park and at the corners of the square, four avenues lead out... Type HELP ME to see what to do. MAP will tell you where you can go.

Weathered signs point to STEIN SHRINE--> and OVERHEARATORIUM (#323)---> OR GO NORTHWEST

Tumbleweed drifts across the plaza, rolling into a crumbling adobe foundation in the middle. Whatever used to stand here has ceased to exist.

You see Notice and sandwich board on the homeless man here.


-->> Geoff (#968) has connected at Dream Plaza (#62) <<--

Kit says, "Geoff, Thanks for coming to the magic kingdom. To spare a lot of explanation, I'm going to start by pasting in two banner reviews of your new novel, AIR, out Air by Geoff Rymanfrom St. Martin's this August. Then I want to begin by asking you about AIR."

From Publishers Weekly

On the heels of his whimsical fantasy, Lust (2003), British author Ryman makes a triumphant return to science fiction in this superbly crafted tale. Life in Kizuldah, a village in Karzistan, has changed little over the centuries, though most homes have electricity. Chung Mae, the local fashion expert, earns her living by taking women into the city for makeovers and by providing teenagers with graduation dresses. Intelligent and ambitious, this wonderfully drawn character is also illiterate and too often ruled by her emotions. One day, the citizens of Kizuldah and the rest of the world are subjected to the testing of Air, a highly experimental communications system that uses quantum technology to implant an equivalent of the Internet in everyone's mind. During the brief test, Mae is accidentally trapped in the system, her mind meshed with that of a dying woman. Left half insane, she now has the ability to see through the quantum realm into both the past and the future. Mae soon sets out on a desperate quest to prepare her village for the impending, potentially disastrous establishment of the Air network. For all its special effects, what makes the novel particularly memorable is the detailed portrait of Kizuldah and its inhabitants. Besides being a treat for fans of highly literate SF, this intensely political book has important things to say about how developed nations take the Third World for granted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As pervasive technology ensures the rapid spread of pop culture and information access, few corners of the planet remain untouched. One of those is Kizuldah, Karzistan, a rice-farming village of perhaps 30 families, predominantly Chinese Buddhist but with a strong Muslim presence, among whom sharply intelligent though illiterate Mae Chung, who guides village women in dressmaking, makeup, and hairstyling, is an informal leader. When the UN decides to test the radical new technology Air, designed to make peoples' minds the receivers of a worldwide information network, Mae is boiling laundry and chatting with elderly Mrs. Tung. The massive surge of Air energy swamps them, and when the test is finished, Mrs. Tung is dead, and Mae has absorbed 90 years of her memories. Rocked by the unexpected deaths and disorientation, the UN delays fully implementing Air, but Mae sees at once that her way of life is ending. Struggling with information overload, the resentment of much of the village, and a complex family situation, she works fiercely to learn what she needs to ride the tiger of change. Portraying one world dissolving into another so quickly that only the smartest and hungriest can keep up, Ryman fills it with intimate, emotional scenes of love and jealousy as well as such surreal events as a calm exchange on cosmology with a talking dog. Enthralling. Roberta Johnson

Kit says, "So, Air. Air is tremendous. HUGE. You didn't write it in ten minutes, did you?"

Geoff says, "Years. I kept getting other novels to write. The tech kept changing under me. First draft finished in 96!"

Kit says, "I hadn't thought about the tech changing, but of course! So it was growing and changing while you thought about it?"

Geoff says, "When I started, there was no digital TV. I had to make up digital TV."

Kit says, "Explain? I'm not sure how anybody invents a technology, altho SF is a great predictor."

Geoff says, "Well, I knew the UK was going to experiment with digital TV and were particularly interested in the interactive aspects as a sort of substitute Web. So the TV in the story, and how Mae was going to use it needed to be invented. I was making up stuff, like Mae's website becomes because of its down-home Turkish quality an internationally popular site... which then happened in reality to this down home Turkish guy. AIR was also about my efforts to wake up the UK government to the potential of the web... and about work politics everywhere."

Kit says, "Yes! So the medium caught up with your message...Did the government pay any mind to you?"

Geoff says, "Basically governments everywhere thought they could use the Web to cut costs... online forms, info in databases, joined up records... but it's not so simple when you have thousands of legacy databases already."

Kit says, "The United States government has all its forms posted now, but people print and fill in by hand."

Geoff says, "The trouble with that is all it does is transfer the cost of printing to the consumer. There is no cost savings for government in processing the data, which is done in paper files same as always. To go back to your previous question, the government did pay some some mind to me and a lot of other people. There are now roughly 2000 UK government websites, and some very fine websites among those. There were some fun years doing a lot of work and finding out what people wanted."

Kit says, "Endless research then. Interviews or questionnaires?"

Geoff says, "Research was not endless. Very specific, often unheeded, sometimes too late... better now. F'instance. Profoundly deaf people have trouble reading... they've never heard and written English which is a second language for them. Deaf orgs here developing avatars that read text and then sign it."

Kit says, "Amazing. What made you make the brilliant leap to having the government invade people's heads?"

Geoff says, "OK, moving on. That came from the need to get a universal tech. My Dad couldn't type so he never got online. My Mom is scared of machines in general and leaves things like that to Dad. Everybody was talking for a while about getting this technology to the have-nots. Chap One was called Have Not Have"

Kit says, "It's a fabulous invention, but my paranoid nerve is zinging about now."

Geoff says, "People have this fear of Big Brother. They need to understand that Big Brother is also the corporations who want to own your identity and your buying habits. Ordinary advertising is dying out... my Mom got 6 fashion brochures today in the post. Niche, target, personalised marketing is what EVERYBODY wants to do, not just govt. Only, govt is controlled by democracy in theory. Companies aren't."

Kit says, "I think you're absolutely right. Amazon's decided my 'favorites' are toddlers' books because I ordered three for Christmas. Amazon has no business deciding who my favorites are. But, about Mae. What inspired, and I do mean *inspired* you to inhabit the soul of an Asian mountain woman?"

Geoff says, "I needed someone to be someone we might call a have-not who was rich in everything our culture lacks. So Mae is her village's info expert... she knows fashion. She gives up everything to get the village up to date... the story is about how everybody including her lovers and friends betray her. This is something a lot of people in the info business went through about then."

Kit says, "About Mae. You totally inhabit her. You KNOW her. Intuition or something more methodical?"

Geoff says, "I believe in imagination. It's not a mystery to me that we can make up poeple outside our experience. Lately, folks mistrust it. They will soon come to distrust Reality TV more."

Kit says, "Gack, so they should, it's all scripted! I guess what I'm trying to say is that the whole time I was reading, I was *inside Mae's head.* Not every writer knows character well enough to do that."

Geoff says, "I'm proud of Mae."

Geoff says, "So anyway, Mae just came to me. It turned out that her name means something like Have not Have in a form of Chinese... that was an accident."

Kit says, "That's wonderful. Happy accident that is... You know. I'm thinking all your work is character driven, it reads to me as though you, Geoff, *become* the person for as long as that person's on the page."

Geoff says, "OK, inside a character head is Point of View. It's prose fiction's secret weapon. Movies can't do that. In prose fiction you can show the silence, what goes in someone's head. You show what they're feeling by using the language they would use."

Kit (overlapping) says, "Of course. And if stream-of-consciousness, determined by character's cadences."

Geoff continues, "It's a narration, held in memory, a series of answered questions.... just like a story, so a story is like another self. By the end of a scene, it's stream of consciousness... which is what reality actually is for all of us."

Kit says, "Yes. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best place to be. Inside the character's head."

Geoff says, "It's the place that's most like reality. Daniel Dennett neuro-philosopher says the self is actually made of words."

Kit says, "I love that. Words are what it's about because it's how we process things. I think we're singing the same song. Beyond that, did you *research* Mongolian villages or did you just *know* because you knew Mae?"

Geoff says, "I made every last part of it up. I did have a lot of experience being in Turkey. So the language they talk is turkish. The landscape is not so much Mongolia as republics like Khazakstan."

Kit says, "Which you have seen. I wasn't sure and probably because of an early reading of White Lotus, put it in remotest China. You don't specify, though, do you?"

Geoff says, "No, it's in a made up country, which gives me the freedom to be a bit wrong!"

Kit loves that, too. Fiction is made up, so why not?

Kit will now ask, since you brought it up, what's your Mundane Philosophy about?

Geoff says, "OK, SF content is the future, but the function of most SF seems to be about avoiding the future. So much of the inherited tropes are actually highly unlikely. Take faster than light travel... there is a ghost of a possiblity there, but people have run away with it. This is because they like it. It seems to open up horizons of adventure. It also conveys the message, we can burn through this planet and escape to the stars. I don't think we can. I think we're stuck on Earth. I want to write stories that are stuck on earth and throw out the unlikely tropes."

Kit says, "What's mundane about that? It strikes me as completely realistic in the best sense."

Geoff says, "Well the word Mundane means of the world. So by and large Mundane SF sticks to Earth or the nearby solar system. For example if we can't get to the stars, aliens can't get to us. Quantum uncertaintly works only at the micro level. Parallel universes are unlikely. So two years ago, out of Clarion a bunch of young writers decided they wanted to limit themselves to the most likely future. This meant facing up to what we know is coming, dealing with it and imaging good futures that are likely."

Kit says, "This is probably where I should ask you what you think the S and the F stand for. Science Fiction or Speculative Fiction."

Geoff says, "For me right now Science Fiction."

Kit says, "OK, good futures. Good as in happy or good as in accurate projections?"

Geoff says, "Not so much accurate as more likely futures than bouncing around star systems talking on the radio.

"Because I think we've been fooling ourselves for a while. I think we need to face up to the loss of oil and the immense impact that will have. Climate change, overpop, yeah, need to be faced with tough challenges. Then we can move on to the life that will grow out of how we adapt, despite loss. That's a tale of overcoming, new solutions, and a renewed sense of wonder about truly new ideas. Theres no SoW for me in 40 year old Star Trek scenarios."

Kit says, "I like it. Dunno how to ask this. OK. Will the next novel come out of this line of thought?"

Geoff says, "I'd say AIR grew out of similar impatience.

"Next novel is mainstream about Cambodia. After that many stories that are Mundane. I want to help pull together an anthology of new Mundane writers. Got a guy called Trent helping me on that. There's a mailing list. Join by emailing Trent at There's an underpopulated website to visit, but more stuff will be appearing on it:

Kit says, "Terrific. Would love to see it. I knew you were going to Cambodia to do research, didn't know for what. Is it something you're ready to talk about or not cooked yet?"

Geoff says, "Novel is called King's Last Song. Half in 12th centruy Angkor, half now in 2002, treasure and kidnapping and healing after 30 years of war."

Kit thinks meanwhile she's pretty Mundane herself. It's always nearest of near futures if it's SF. Historical novel, then. Is there a central character that you love?

Geoff says, "That's the problem. There are two stories each with about 4 point of view characters. And I love them all. Right now considering new ways into the material. One of the PoVs is Cambodia's greatest King, King Jayavarman VII."

Kit says, "Brilliant. The multiphasic, if that's the right word, fiction is always the highest risk. The higher you jump, the riskier it is, but it sounds fabulous. Maybe it's a saga. There's gotta be a Perfect Saga out there."

Geoff says, "There's this notion of Queer Time that my work esp WAS is supposed to embody. It jumps around in time, and uses other ways of unifying story."

Kit grins at Geoff.

Kit says, "I don't think only gay writers are entitled to Queer Time :)"

Geoff says, "I hope not, it kinda implies that writing in Queer Time is in the genes or something. If Queer Time is about living in new families, which mitigates against Sagas, then lots of folk now live in new families."

Kit sorries the smilies, but messes with time a bit herself.

Kit says, "Do you think webwork and 253 have made your thinking more flexible, less linear?"

Geoff says, "I was thinking about that stuff before the web, so the web came and I said that's for me."

Kit says, "In a way webwork, computers, have made a quantum change in our thinking. The same way movies did when writers learned they could flash back and cut to the chase."

Geoff says, "We're only at the beginning of that change. The biggest change I can see is the arrival of meta everything. Music made out of other music. People keep cutting and pasting, and I think they do this with fiction now too. Only it gets called plagiarisation. I hated being sampled when I saw it because it not only took my ideas, it took my performance, which is all I have to sell. In music they have to credit the source with ownership. Sampled research or fictions will have to do the same."

Kit says, "I'm a little scared by what you just said because I want to run my own shop and not refer or be referred to."

Geof says, "Maybe novels aren't worth stealing ;-)"

Kit hugs Geoff.

Kit waves.

Kit goes west.

Geoff has disconnected.



Once again, Kit and Geoff meet on StoryMOO

Story Park

Trees, grass, benches. This is a large public park. Dogs are walked here, children play and joggers jog in never ending circuits. This is what is known as "Parklife". There are muddy fields full of soccer players engaged in endless games and a Park keeper chasing away trouble. Please take your litter home with you.

To the west you can see a playground and in front of you is an arrow that points upwards to a hole in the fabric of space/time.

Buried among the bushes to the south you see a small marble building with a green metal roof. A brass plaque over the door reads STEIN SHRINE.

On the southwest corner of the park you see the entrance to Flaky Groves.

You see Tree here.


Hmm. Is there a party in the shrine?

Stein Shrine

You come in to a spare marble room with a granite pedestal in the middle. On top is the Jo Davidson bust of Gertrude Stein. The room used to be spare and austere but now it looks a lot like Jim Morrison's grave. People have left notes, floral tributes, pieces of verse and messages in bottles. You are invited to add to what you see. Notes. Presents. Anything you'd like. To find out how, type help @create The floor is crowded with baskets for Basket and Alice has left a tin of hashish brownies.

-->> RedWriter (#96) has connected at Upstairs (#103) <<--

The Front Room

This is where you'll find RedWriter during business hours. Navajo rug on the floor at the moment, a couple of comfortable chairs. But that could all change. It takes words to bring a world to life. To see where to go from here, type @ways.

You see doormat and notebook here.

RedWriter is here.

-->> Geoff (#968) has connected at Dream Plaza (#62) <<--

Geoff has arrived.

Geoff says, "Hi Geoff here"

RedWriter grins. Who were you expecting?

RedWriter hugs Geoff.

Geoff says, "Kit Reed."

RedWriter says, "Eeek, I wandered away from the keyboard and missed you on the first round :)"

Geoff says, "Darling it's me, home again!"

RedWriter her very self. Hang on and I'll morph the name. How was your weekend?

RedWriter grins at Geoff.

Geoff says, "Hot. Full of church and food with my California Mom."

Kit says, "Nice! It's 100 or so in Glendale where our daughter is."

Kit is going there soon.

Geoff says, "Well Oceanside is much cooler."

Kit says, "Great. Are your Mundane people cranked up to come visit tomorrow?"

Geoff says, "Mundanes. Do they have character names?"

Kit says, "Nope, they're coming as guests. We have gazillion guest characters because a Brandeis cyberanthro class observed us."

Geoff says, "Here's the dope, seeing Spiderman 2."

Kit has dental miseries at approx 2 eastern, you'll love Spidey but it gets a little introspective in the middle.

Geoff says, "Not like the hulk I hope!"

Kit nopes, *nothing* like the Hulk. Eric Bana is a black sucking hole.

Geoff says, "I want to marry Eric Bana. The movie was embarrassed by its subject."

Kit says, "But we should get to proper Q&A as we have entered Act Two. DON't marry Eric Bana, he has zero screen presence!"

Geoff says, "Not his screen presence that interests...;-) OK let's go."

Kit is going to drag you like a dog to its bowl. WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WERE A WRITER?

Kit grins at Geoff.

Geoff says, "Before I could talk."

Kit says, "Of course. When did you first commit words, like dictate to a parent or what?"

Geoff says, "Well, more like at about 6 when my mom published my first story in her newspaper column."

Kit says, "Brilliant. What was it about?"

Geoff says, "Sindbad. He takes a pill and gets a tiny fish's head underwater."

Kit says, "Nice. Mine was about a rabbit named Harbor Wilson. I dictated it to my mother when I was five."

Kit had no 'ins' with print media, however.

Geoff says, "Oh, so you need a devoted mum to be a writer."

Kit says, "Gimme some time to think on that. Emanuensis, let's say, w/o getting into psychohistory. Mine was baffled that I was in Who's Who."

Geoff says, "You're in Who's Who? Doesn't that baffle YOU. I'd be stunned to be in Who's... Darling, you're a celebrity!"

Geoff makes Kit laugh.

Kit says, "As *if*. If you get a Gugg you're automatically in Who's Who, dunno why."

Geoff says, "I wish I did the same for me."

Kit says, "So on from age six, what was next in your life as a writer?"

Geoff says, "Anyway, writing, it's a hard slog, don't do it, there's no money in it and the only nice writers write SF."

Kit says, "You can also get kicked *OUT* of Who's Who if you stop producing."

Geoff says, "The bastards!"

Kit says, "Right on all counts. And furthermore it works better if you go into dentistry or just get a job in a bank!"

Geoff says, "Dentists? How big is this directory?"

Kit says, "oh nooo, not getting into Who's Who, making *MONEY*."

Kit grins at Geoff. Kit does her dragging you back to the bowl trick, like it or not. Were you writing in grammar school, high school, etc?

Geoff says, "Yes, I kept writing, but I was no damn good. Long answer follows. The first story I submitted sold, which confirmed every single bad habit I had. I wrote a huge unpublishable novella with pictures and equations next, thinking of course I was a genius. Nobody else did. So I slogged away and at about age 28 I was beginning to think that dentistry would be an option. Sigh. Then I read Virginia Woolf's letters... at 28, she was thinking of giving up."

Kit says, "agh, Virginia!"

Kit wonders furthermore when you figured out that you were gay. And whether what you wrote expressed or reflected that when you were a kid.

Geoff says, "I knew when I was nine. I had the crisis then, and then forgot about it for a long while."

Kit says, "Or fiction writers had you committing suicide. Did the crisis show up in your pre-coming-out work?"

Geoff says, "Well there wasn't much pre-coming out work. I guess the first story just was ambiguous, the second the two lovers were plainly post-body and could be either sex. No, the crisis at nine consisted of a sudden realisation in a bowling alley. It totally messed up my bowling scores and lost me cool points with the gang. After that I forgot it again, tried to go straight, gave up in late teens."

Kit says, "How old were you when you sold the first story? The second sounds *very* like an act of transformation, which is something the best writers do."

Geoff says, "OH I didn't make a pro sale until 21. The second was a calling card and ended up in the collection UNCONQUERED COUNTRIES... it's A FALL OF ANGELS... and ultimately was the grandfather of The Child Garden (the Angels kinda come back)."

Kit says, "Cool. Explain calling card?"

Geoff says, "Calling card... I knew it was impressive. Just not publishable. BBC said do it as a radio play, this is what we want. I'd show it to people and they'd react to me as a writer with a future."

Kit says, "Hey, that's *not* such a bad thing. You were living in the UK by then?"

Kit also wonders if the Beeb indeed *did* said radio play.

Geoff says, "A FALL OF ANGELS had my first lines in which the character suddenly spoke internally from the heart to themselves, which was a breakthrough for me... this regarding the transformation stuff. Yeah, I was living in the UK, much encouraged by Hilary Bailey who was editing New Worlds by then. BEEB did not do said play. My own take on adaptations is that one medium is never perfect for another UNLESS the original was very much less than perfect. F'instance, there was a play version of WAS that was SO faithful... the acting and direction were fab, but faithfulness doesn't do it. The script for the movie if it ever gets made is very different, and the musical version that is coming up is out of its mind, just wonderful, but entirely different."

Kit says, "I think you're right about adaptations..."

Kit says, "and I'm interested in characters speaking from the heart, and that the reason I like your work is that it's character driven. This is going to be a complicated question..."

Kit says, "I wonder if the 'mundane' philosophy springs partly at least from the fact that most HARD SF..."

Geoff says, "... would meet humanistic SF if the science were good."

Kit says, "i.e. the flying saucer space alien kind is *concept* rather than idea driven. As in, the mechanics substitute for characters..."

Kit says, "and nothing real emerges in terms of substance."

Geoff says, "I have great faith in hard SF writers, especially if they wanted to take on playing the Mundane game. Timescape would be a Mundane novel if Benford had declared himself to be. A story of his I read in Omni was almost fantasy. So I don't know that hard SF is in a box. In fact I kinda hope Mundane will be a way for humanistic and hard SF to become one and the same."

Kit says, "Humanistic SF with science. How does that differ from Speculative Fiction?"

Kit is thinking all the twice-told subgenres are... well... twice told.

Geoff says, "Good Question. Spec Fic to me is also interested in formalism as per old New Worlds. They were always playing around with the techniques of experimental fiction and it was very exciting at the time. I remember a story (but not the title) by Brian Aldiss that knocked me out. It was just a series of stunning surreal images.

So for me in Speculative Fiction, the speculation extends to questions of form, almost like OULIPO. You know people like Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, Raymond Queneau. I have a feeling that a lot of Mundane fiction will be classical in form."

Kit says, "By classical you mean what I guess people call mainstream or 'literary' fiction?"

Geoff says, "Yes indeed, the story telling techniques that get taught at Clarion or any course teaching the basics of creative writing."

Kit nods to Geoff.

Kit says, "OULIPO fiction, None of them very character driven, right? All conceptual?"

Geoff says, "OULIOPO is short for something like Ouvreirs de Literature Potential (pardon my French). They were (still are?) a group that did stuff like write verse for dogs or in early programming languages. Perec ended up using the form to get at characters."

Kit rightright, I'm supposed to know these things, but they just make me cranky.

Kit says, "So you think the Mundanes will be experimenting with form, substance, i.e. a whole new ballgame?"

Geoff says, "I'm not sure. It will be up to them as individual writers. I suspect that SF writing needs to convince photorealistically, in the same way SF art does. So it uses very classical conventional techniques."

Kit says, "I guess conventional is the troublesome part, if you're talking about conventions as in space-mechanics, how things 'port or what makes them fly."

Geoff says, "Re Mundanes. Actually, I suspect Mundanes will end up being very concerned with content and getting visions and ideas across. I think Mundanes could end up being conservative technically in their writing. But maybe not."

Kit says, "What I like about what you just said was the word: VISIONS. The best SF is visionary. Makes a leap to places conventional writers can't go. And I mean conventional SF writers as well."

Geoff says, "I mean technical in how they write. I hope Mundanes steer clear of teleportation as it doesn't seem too likely. I hope the Mundane rules force Hard SF writers to focus on life on Earth lived by people and force humanists to get their facts right and to do some original SF speculation. The rules, not the group does the forcing, like a corset can feel great, liberating as well as confining, as it's more fun to play tennis by the rules."

Kit stands up, cheers at "force...writers to focus on life on Earth lived by people." Italicizes *people*.

Geoff says, "But people are of course the key to any story... as is having the characters make decisions and change."

Kit says, "Exactly! And FEELING what they feel and making the reader feel it too."

Kit says, "Back when we got talking about transformation I wanted to ask the following, but we were moving too fast. Does being gay make you a more empathic writer?

"More in tune with what other people, therefore your characters, are thinking?

"Am I crazy or are women more likely to be empaths, and are women and gay men more empathic than straight guys?"

Geoff says, "I've met some pretty un-empathetic gays, and since the Iraq prison photos I think everyone has to extend their ideas of feminity. I guess a straightforward answer is no, I don't think being gay makes me more emphatic... it may shift the focus of my empathy a bit from where it would be if I were straight. But if I accept that I have a good quality because I'm gay, then I may have to accept I have a bad quality because I'm gay. I'm worried that would shift responsibility for my faults and actions from me and what I do, to some convenient story. (I'm gay and that's why I forgot my house keys/got stressed/did a bad bad thing)... I don't think any one has defined the difference in flavour between being male and female. If they did we would still have to rememember that there would be women and men who were not in the middle of their bell shaped curve (tough women prepared to be torturers; men who devote their lives to nurturing others).

Kit [to Geoff]: Excellent, thanks. Take care. And think of whatever you want to be your Famous Last Words

Kit hugs Geoff.


Kit teach you one more thing, if you'd like type @addfeature #174

Geoff [to Kit]: I'm ready for my big close up Mr deMille

Kit grins at Geoff.

Kit says, "OK, now type grin."

Geoff grins.

Kit says, "help #174 will show you *all* the other verbs!"

Geoff says, "That what you meant."

Kit grins.

Kit nods to Geoff.

Kit says, "and hug k will allow you to reciprocate."

Kit grins at Geoff.

Geoff pokes.

Kit pokes at Geoff.

Geoff says, "That's rude! Poke means something else in english!"

Geoff grins.

Kit says, "There's gangs more, I'll leave you to it or we don't eat. Take care. Ewwww! In U.S.-ish it means prod."

Geoff bows gracefully.

Kit eyes Geoff derriere-ily.

Kit eyes Geoff chocolate-eclaire-ily.

Kit [to Geoff]: that's another trick, but not for today. Take care.

Geoff puckers its lips, perhaps expecting a kiss?

Kit hugs Geoff.

Kit goes home.

Geoff says, "Bye!"

Geoff has disconnected.

© Kit Reed 2004. Kit's Thinner Than Thou was published by Tor in June 2004.
Air by Geoff Ryman

Air is published by St Martin's Press (September 2004, ISBN: 0312261217); an extract is available elsewhere on this site.

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