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Best Short Story of 2004
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Best Short Story of 2004

“The Voluntary State” by Christopher Rowe

"Soma-With-The-Paintbox-In-Printer's-Alley," said voices from above. Soma turned to watch the policemen land. They all spoke simultaneously in the sing-song chant of law enforcement. "Your car will be healed at taxpayers' expense." Then the ritual words, "And the wicked will be brought to justice."

Everyone gives life to his or her vehicle. We may not name it but we feel every ding on the fender as if it were a bruise upon our soul. Well Christopher jams those ideals together and creates an original future of emotional technocraft. Part magic, part science but 100% weird. Christopher Rowe does many amazing things with this story that it has to be read to believed.

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