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2018 Reader Question 95

2018 Reader Question 95 published on 21 Comments on 2018 Reader Question 95

Oops, sorry Michelle didn’t answer your questions! She kinda got stuck in an existential crisis, oopsie doodle!

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Poor Michael. I just want to hug you right now in a brotherly way to help you feel better.

This RQ is a bad dose of comic time to real time.
I’m guessing here that Michelle would have finished school in spring 2004, spent the summer break waiting on her final school results, doing her college application and waiting on its approval, before we saw her in early August of 2004 at the start of Orientations.
For Michelle the June 2005 setting of Illumination is a bit over 12 months since she finished school.

One does not simply stop being an oboist.

Yeah, one does. Somehow, a reed instrument isn’t like a bicycle. You pick it up after a long time, and it’s Squeak City, and you can’t make it work.

Never mind remembering what all those damn keys do.

True, but it still reminds me of a short story I read where the main character was a cyborg (she was an astronaut and got caught in a solar flare that nearly killed her, requiring a full-body prosthesis). I think this was in Asimov’s Sci-Fi, some time in the late 1980s.

Anyway, one of her friends played the clarinet. She reminisces, “I used to play the clarinet too, but I had to give it up.” Her friend asked her why, and the answer was “You have to have lungs to play one.” (Or any other wind instrument, which is why it reminded me of this short story.)

She was also trying to get permission to move to the moon colony, where prejudice against cyborgs was less. She had a bit of a problem with the physical exam, though. “He didn’t care that I don’t breathe. He didn’t mind writing down that I had no pulse. He couldn’t figure out how to get a blood sample without electrocuting himself, though.”

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