QSFer R. Cane has a new lesbian social sci fi book out: “990066.”
Novella: 990066. Strange times after a sickness leaves everyone mostly indoors, living lives of limited movement.
Barely on the edge of adulthood when it started, a young woman lives, learns in the only way she can figure – vicariously – through her customer shopping lists. Imagining their lives, meals, sussing details from what they buy, and don’t, getting lost in their lives to help get through being so restricted in her own.
Until reality storms fantasy and she is faced with some very real choices in a beautiful musician who is far from shy about what she wants. What will our girl do?
I get my excitement looking at other people’s shopping lists, live through them, really. I imagine who ordered the things I pick – how many are in their houses, are they a couple? Friends? Parents with kids? It’s amazing what you can detect from grocery lists.
It’s a pretty busy afternoon, I have a few lists. Good, busy is better. And oh! 990066! She’s one of my favorites. When I close my eyes, I picture her as beautiful, tall, in shape, fair. I’m not sure why, her diet just feels blond? She gets a lot of fish, vegetables, grains, some chicken, beef too sometimes, but not as much – orders every week or two. Not too many vitamins or health things. Lots of spices and herbs. Her house must smell awesome from the aromatics she orders. And she can cook. She chooses unusual things like pine nuts, curry powder, hearts of palm, black rice – who would order those if they weren’t a good cook? I first noticed her because of that great number, who gets a nice balanced number like that? I’ve decided she must be lucky too. I could ask Mel what she looks like, but it would kill my fun, the game of it.
I scan through her list – ‘3 mangoes – just a little red, to be ripe in 2 to 3 days’. I love this woman! So precise and clear. It’s easy to do a good job with her list because she describes everything so well. Maybe she’s a writer? I sometimes wish the lists were hand-written, I want to know what her writing looks like – pretty, loopy, elegant, smooth, I would bet. Sigh. She also wants rice (short), eggs, olive oil (unfiltered, first press, Sicilian), toilet paper – eek. It can be strange picking out people’s groceries, and interesting.
Life is endlessly fasciating, why not write about it?