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Can't Remember the Name


The father was a scientist who was developing a futuristic space suit. It was in the form of a gelatinous blob that he brought home from work and left it in the sink where his daughter found it and it attacked her. Its driving me crazy trying to remember the name so hopefully someone else has read it and remembers. :)

Replies:   LonelyDad

'An Experiment Gone Wrong' by Howard Faxton




It didn't 'attack' her per se. It sensed a food source and attached itself to her to get it. Everything else flows on from there. A classic example of symbiosis, just in a very different setting.


Sounds a bit like John Varley's Symbs in Equinoctal (and, I think, mentioned in a few others of his, maybe 'Gotta sing, gotta dance'?)

Bonus points if you can get the fifth in

Army, Navy, Marine, Airforce,

from the end of the story (without reading it or looking it up, of course).

ETA: Varley's Symbs were space-based, so certainly not what's asked for here, but might well have been inspiration for it.

Replies:   richardshagrin  madnige


Army, Navy, Marine, Airforce,
next is probably Coast Guard, although there are several other uniformed services, example, Public Health Service. United Services Automobile Association had a list of the Public Service Officers they would cover, and it was a lot more than Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. I think the Customs Service was in there too.

Replies:   madnige


These were the names of the children (quints) of the main character (possibly named Solstice, Solitude or similar?) of Varley's tale; they were kidnapped from her womb, along with her Symb which was used to keep them alive - I can't remember if the kidnapping was done by the group trying to paint one of Saturn's rings red, or by the group opposing them. She (the MC) had thought Coast Guard for the fifth name, but at the end of the story, she meets her children and the fifth had taken another name, relevant to the story.



Bonus points if you can get the fifth in Army, Navy, Marine, Airforce,

OK, a week on and having finished Varley's 'The Ophiuchi Hotline' which I realised I hadn't read and in which the same main character, Parameter/Solstice, has a bit-part, I'll give the fifth name: Elephant. In her first sexual encounter with another Pair in which she finds the Symbs massively enhance the experience and in which the Quints are conceived, she requests something like 'next time, can you work in an Elephant', which her Symb obviously later passed on to the infants. Unfortunately, I can't find my (dead-tree) copy of the collection it was in (Picnic on Nearside AKA The Barbie Murders), which is a real pity as with eight of the nine shorts therin I thought 'yes, that was a good one, I'd like to read that again'. Specifically, I wanted to check if the Symb Solstice was Parameter's first Symb, or the second one - can anyone help me there?


Apropros of nothing, and not recommending anything, but there is a copy on alt.binaries.e-book. I think that since you own(ed) a dead tree copy there should be no reason why you could not download this electronic copy.

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