There you have it. Today, “Blue Flame Burns the Hottest” goes live at Saturday Night Reader. It’s a soft and sweet near-future SF flash tale about families, and tech, and growing together instead of apart. It deals with a woman growing actually wiser as she grows older, even though it’s hard.
The working title was the none-too-pleasant “Grannie’s VR.” Still, it encapsulated the dichotomy of the story I wanted to tell–Grandma: old-fashioned and supposedly out of touch, with VR: modern, shiny, & futuristic.
Some of this comes from the sense I have, as I grow older, of feeling out-of-date to my lively, pre- and early-teen great-nieces and great-nephews. (Hey, no judging here! I’ve been a great-aunt since college! It just means I’m great!) How much more so will this be when home tech takes another momentous leap forward, and I’m not on that wave? When, like my mother-in-law with the TV remote (or my own long-gone grandmother with the automobile), I’ll need help figuring out all this new-fangled stuff? And what great things will come along with it?
I’m all for a virtual immersive experience–how cool would that be? It could change so much: gaming, work, study and research, even travel. But as with Caroline in the story, I would still want some in-person face time to keep familial connections strong, and actual in a world going virtual. Old-fashioned? Maybe. But I think it makes a neat story, too.
Edited to add: Well, that’s a little embarrassing! I set this post to automatically post itself at 8:30 this morning, and didn’t get around to checking my email/online life until nearly noon. (Yes, I’m keeping holiday hours today!) Only then did I discover that my story isn’t up yet. Perhaps SNR forgot about the holiday they scheduled my story? Or it’ll post later in the day? Well, whatever the case, I’m leaving this post for when it does go live. As they say, better early than late…???
Further edited to add: Weee! Now it’s up! Go forth and read…please?