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Hal Y. Zhang is a lapsed physicist who splits her time between the east coast of the United States and the Internet. Her short stories are in or forthcoming from Uncanny Magazine, Future Tense, Strange Horizons, and Fireside. She has a women-with-sharp-things collection Goddess Bandit of the Thousand Arms (Aqueduct Press).
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By Hal Y. Zhang
After several days of spouting increasingly strange conspiracy theories, Valerie Lang abruptly leaves her home. Her daughter Ellery stays behind, bewildered and alone in their spartan living room. In a near-future world where citizens are always watched and where "personalization" is part of every day life, Valerie has managed to stay in an era long gone. Ellery's search for her mother reveals how little she knows about her, and stirs painful childhood memories that she can now choose to erase.