This week, Futures is heading back to school thanks to My favourite sentience, the latest story by Marissa Lingen. Regular readers will already know Marissa’s work as we have been fortunate enough to publish some of her other stories (a full list can be found at the foot of this post). If you’d like to explore her universe further, you should head to her website or follow her on Twitter. Here, Marissa reveals the inspiration behind her latest tale — as ever, it pays to read the story first.
Writing My favourite sentience
Some of my writer friends talk on Twitter about their favourite sentences. I’m not usually that kind of writer. It’s not that I never have satisfying sentences, it’s that I’m always more concerned with what I’m about to do than with what I just did. So when someone asks me for a favourite sentence of mine, I’m a bit lost. However. There was a typo in someone’s tweet, and I was off to the races.
Kids are often being asked their favourite of this or that. Your favourite animal, for example, or your favourite fruit. As an adult, this seems a bit silly to me: surely a pear that’s perfectly in season is better than raspberries that are out of season, and in a few months it will be reversed. And yet at the same time, they have to practise writing paragraphs on something, and the things in their immediate surroundings make a lot of sense.
So for this story, I remembered one well-meaning teacher who asked about our favourite music and exposed fault lines she had no idea were there, all over a classroom of pre-pubescent children. And I started thinking: the immediate surroundings of children of the future would be very very different. And of course there was that typo…
Other Futures stories by Marissa Lingen
Seven point two | Planet of the five rings | Running safety tips for humans| The most important thing | The many media hypothesis | Boundary waters | Maxwell’s Demon went down to Georgia | The stuff we don’t do | Unsolved logistical problems in time travel: spring semester | Entanglement | Quality control | Search strings | Alloy