In Absentia

by l.m.orchard
originally published at 06:27PM on Saturday, March 17, 2007

John passed out at his desk, slumping over and spilling his coffee with a wide flung hand. Something had given a little pop in his head, and everything had gone black.

The paper he’d been working on, however, continued writing itself. He’d spewed enough assertions from his stream of consciousness into the metacortex to fuel the process for a few weeks yet.

Miles away, his morning class started. At the podium in the university lecture hall, his holo-avatar flickered to life and began orating to the students filing in on the first day.

John’s phone rang – it was Chen, one of his colleagues from the AI/IA department. Refusing video contact, John’s voice answered, “Hello?” For the next hour or so, Chen and John had a lovely conversation about this semester’s hopeless batch of grad students.

As a small puddle of drool ran from the corner of John’s mouth, most of his life went on without him.

His cat, however, was a bit hungry, wanted a warm lap, and was quite unamused – the Abyssinian yowled and huffed.




  • from l.m.orchard:

    For what it’s worth: AI/IA stands for Artificial Intelligence / Intelligence Augmentation.

  • from Saint Chuck:

    This is great, I love the concept of being able to sleep while life just passes you by.

  • from YodaOnCrack:

    Your writing style is hard to beat and so is your imagination. Keep a the ficlet thing – you’re good!

  • from White Hat:

    Metacortex… Sounds like you’ve read Accelerando?