Blue Champagne

by John Varley
Reviewed date: 2011 Nov 29
290 pages
cover art

  • The Pusher: As the generations pass by, a spaceship pilot needs to feel a connection to the past--so he befriends a little girl at a playground, so that decades later, when he returns, she will remember him.
  • Blue Champagne: A quadriplegic movie star with a bionic sidekick that gives her full range of motion--if not of feeling--seduces a naive space jockey, accidentally falls in love with him, then rips his heart out by revealing she has captured the whole experience on memory tape and sells it to the networks.
  • Tango Charlie and Foxtrot Romeo: [I did not reread this one.]
  • Options: Cleo is tired of her role as a woman, so she opts for a sex change--to the chagrin of her husband.
  • Lollipop and the Tar Baby: In deep space, a sentient black hole talks to a black hole prospector, and warns her that her clone mother is going to murder her before they get back to Pluto--because legally there can be only one person with a particular set of DNA.
  • The Manhattan Phone Book (Abridged): Short-short stories about each name in the phone book--very much abridged.
  • The Unprocessed Word: A deranged author writes letters to his editor, convinced that what the people really want and need is words untouched by computers--at any point in the writing, typesetting, or printing process.
  • Press ENTER: Every old guy nerd's fantasy--an grizzled veteran meets a young, perky, Asian girl half his age, who walks around half-naked and instantly falls madly in love with him. Oh, and she's the super-smart computer whiz investigator who is looking into the mysterious death of the old veteran's neighbor.

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