08 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Short Story Review: “Totaled” by Kary English

“Totaled” by Kary English was first published in Galaxy’s Edge magazine, edited by Mike Resnick. Galaxy’s Edge posted the story for free after the announcement of the Hugo ballot so you can read it for yourself if you like.

The story is told from the point of view of a disembodied brain extracted from a woman’s body after her body is “totaled” in a car accident. Before the accident she had been a member of the research team that made this possible. A rider on her insurance dictated that if she died or got totaled her tissues would be donated to her research lab–including her brain. At first she can only sense from the outside nerve by feeling vibrations in the vascular tissue, but as the experiment advances she is connected to more peripherals, including sensory apparatus, and she can find ways to communicate outward as well because they are scanning her brain. She tries to communicate with her research partner Randy, who doesn’t know that the brain he’s using was his partner’s.

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