I remember reading it while in middle school in English in the United States, so the latest it would have come out was 1998. I don't remember if it was all one author, or even the same universe. These are the stories I remember:

  • A man finds a way to create a medicine that prevents radiation poisoning (or possibly makes someone fireproof... it's a little confused in my head) and learns that part of the problem is finding a market for it. I vividly remember the inventor telling someone to not "let the doorknob ream you" as it slams shut.
  • A bout of graffiti artists leads to the city buying anti-graffiti paint that dissolves any other paint put on top of it. After learning the futility of trying to paint over it, the protagonist consults with a friend and learns that the anti-graffiti paint will eat away at the paint above it at a steady rate, and will even eat successive layers of the anti-graffiti paint. he uses this property to engineer an animation involving a harlequin thumbing this nose at the officials even as they try to wash it away.
  • Some guys (I want to say a gang) go to a clinic for an illegal nanotech transformation. The viewpoint character gets turned into a woman while a friend gets turned into a dog. After roaming about in their new forms, they return to find the clinic being raided, meaning there's no one to turn them back. I think I remember something bad happening to the one transformed into a dog where the transformation continued, erasing his human thought patterns. There was also a scene where the viewpoint character submitted to being sexually assaulted by his former friends as if it was simply to be expected given his form.

I don't remember if the first or the second story was the actual first story of the collection... I want to say that those are the order that they showed up as in the book.

  • A very quick google suggests that the first story is "Ancient of Days" by Michael Bishop which features the immortal phrase "Don't let the doorknob ream you in the asshole"
    – Valorum
    Jun 2, 2014 at 19:22
  • Doesn't look like that matches any other aspect of it. I did a quick scan of Michael Bishop's other works on the off chance that this is a common phrase for him. There's one tagged as involving nanotech in the isfdb, "The Secret Ascension" or "Philip K. Dick is Dead, Alas", but it doesn't match plotwise. None of the other covers or titles seem to match with my memory either. Thank you for the thought, though.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 2, 2014 at 19:27
  • youtu.be/0Hkn-LSh7es?t=7s
    – Valorum
    Jun 2, 2014 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


You're referring to "The Nanotech Chronicles" by Michael Flynn, an anthology of his own nanotechnology-themed stories.

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  • The story with the graffiti artist is almost certainly "Soul of the City", described as;

"a technological battle against outlaw graffiti artists leads to the sophistication of paintings that undergo calculated metamorphoses as their layers are gradually stripped away"

  • The story with the dog transformation is "Werehouse", described thusly:

"lycanthropic shapeshifting is a new form of illicit thrill-seeking entertainment made possible through nanotechnology"

  • The story with the anti-radiation invention is "The Washer at the Ford", described thusly;

"Based on his former research on radiation resistant bacteria, Koyanagi convinces the group [of six researchers representing six ethical viewpoints] to work on 'nanomachines' that should considerably increase the radioactive radiation resistance of humans by genetic modification of corporal cells. "


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