I think there is something more, something more deeply humane here than Palmer's extraordinary ability to narrate cognition. I think one might call Version Control a tale full of qualia.
Ariel, belle of the sea, drunk on a bar stool next to me. She grieves, / says she feels suckered, did not sprout the legs / she was promised.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Shawn Scarber's "The Opening of the Bayou Saint John."
I anchor the gondola with my pole and hold out my arms to accept the swaddled gift. The woman doesn't move, until she speaks, and then her breathing is fast, as though she hasn't breathed for days. "I come to understand from what some folk say, that if I want, I can go with you." Her voice is lilting and her cadence rhythmic. "I brought paper bills. I know you like coin, but paper bills is all I could find."