I'm looking for the title of a short story I read on the internet somewhere a while ago.

It began with a girl living in the modern age and explores her life growing up over the next couple of decades, focusing on how she experiences new technological advances. For example, a pill is invented which uses nanobots to fix her aging brain and a chip is developed for implantation that essentially acts as Google-on-command in your head.

At some point in her life, she talks to a scientist who is over-eager for all science's new developments and she instills a sense of prudence and caution in him that is a theme for the rest of the story.

She is eventually made immortal, transcending human form or any form at all, and eventually acts as an ambassador to an alien species.


1 Answer 1


"The Gentle Seduction" by Marc Stiegler

First Published by Analog Magazine in 1989

Summary from this review:

While I’m not sure about the singularity myself – there sure is a ‘rapture for the nerds’ aspect to it – the story makes for a compelling read. It deals with issues related to runaway technological progress but in general has a very positive outlook on how humanity might get through a singularity event if it should ever occur. While reading the story I couldn’t help but think that we’re already halfway there. Many of the technological advancements described by the author – such as online satellite images, ubiquitous WiFi, always-online devices that are tightly integrated with human senses (see Google Glass) – are already available or soon will be. Sure, nanotechnology didn’t exactly live up to the promises it had in the 1980s, so the idea of technologically enhancing the human body has still a long way to go.

One particularly interesting aspect of The Gentle Seduction – and the singularity in general – is human immortality. The protagonist of the story in the beginning is averse towards the idea of being immortal but later on not only accepts but embraces it. Though I can somehow understand the desire to prolong life I think death is something that is inherent to life. Without a natural end to invididuals’ lives sooner or later there won’t be any room for change or anything new any more. Now, while the singularity might indeed change the whole equation and living a longer life in good health certainly has huge benefits, I think death ultimately is essential for life since it avoids stagnation (the latest Ayreon album 01011001 for instance deals with this subject quite extensively).


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