Size / / /

CONTENT WARNING:



It will be perfect,
my mother said.
No potty training
or messes on the carpet.

I know you wanted an RL dog
but they’re rare now
and expensive.

Not the one
I want,
I said.

You’re thinking of the designer ones.

There’s others.
I’ve seen them at the trash depository.
Maybe we could ask the women who work
there where they got theirs from?

I don’t want you speaking to those women again,
my mother said.
It’s unhygienic.

They’re nice ladies,
I said.
She tutted and turned her face to her manicure.

No.

No RL dogs in this house
but what about this little guy.

She turned her screen to me and
I admit he was cute.

A DG-147.
He was sleek, shiny,
copper-colored
with a REAL-FEEL nose
and panting tongue.

His little spring tail
wagged and wagged

and he had one eye—
a camera lens in the middle of his forehead
so he could record his adventures.

Ok, I said.

I like him
and I did.

Deeg and I have been companions for years.
Always together.
He has got me through the bad times and the good.
He’s my best friend,
just like his box said he would be.

I am a responsible dog owner
Even though my mother thought I wouldn’t be.
I have oiled him
and uploaded his updates
and rubbed his shiny flanks with a dry duster.

I ordered replacement parts for him
when his wore out.
Wanted him to be my dog forever.
I worried that if I died he would be alone but

now they say he is obsolete.
They don’t make them like him anymore.
He needs a new motherboard
but they don’t supply them.
My mother won’t help me find someone to fix him.
Asked me if I wanted a DG-1000.

I don’t.

She says I am too old to cry over a toy.

I told her she is too old

and she locked herself in her capsule.

I don’t want Deeg to suffer
so tomorrow I will turn him off.

I will don my gas mask and go to the trash depository.
I will make my mother take me
and I will disobey her and talk to the nice ladies
and ask them to take care of my dog.

I will tell them that he has been a good boy,
the best
and that he couldn’t have been a better dog
even if he was an RL one
and that he is irreplaceable.

I will ask them to let me pet one of their RL dogs

and on the drive home I will tell my mother

that I can’t wait until she is obsolete.



Emma J. Gibbon is originally from Yorkshire and now lives in Maine. She is a writer and librarian. Her poetry has featured in Pedestal Magazine and Clash. Emma lives with her husband, Steve, and three exceptional animals: Odin, Mothra, and M. Bison (a.k.a. Grim). She is a member of SFPA and her website is emmajgibbon.com.
Current Issue
30 Mar 2020

The Strange Horizons team presents new speculations with climate at its heart.
The Wi-Fi is shallow, a miracle drizzle that broke the heat wave blockade. They say in 10 years the internet will never flow here again.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Porpentine Charity Heartscape's “Dirty Wi-Fi.”
If half my kindergarten cohort was dead by the time I hit sixth grade, I would be mopey too.
By: Jason P Burnham
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Jason P Burnham's “Cairns.”
“I’m Rosie,” she says. But I just call her the kid.
By: Tara Calaby
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Tara Calaby's “Three Days with the Kid.”
Fixing my pipes, for the plumber, / is a simple thing. He whistles gently as I tell him / about the yellow eyes I saw last night.
Between us, there are threads of doubt, unwinding spools like spider webs across the scalded earth
what the map said was once a buffalo jump
By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents poetry from the Climate special issue.
Solarpunk reminded me that growing your own food is a thing, that we can make or grow something rather than buy it, that technology can help us redirect the trajectory of the world.
Thursday: Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock 
Friday: Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters edited by Sarena Ulibarri 
Issue 23 Mar 2020
Issue 16 Mar 2020
By: Lisa Nan Joo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Thompson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
Issue 9 Mar 2020
By: Leah Bobet
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Emily Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Mar 2020
By: Innocent Chizaram Ilo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Cam Kelley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
By: Dante Luiz
Art by: DAPENHA
Issue 24 Feb 2020
By: Mayra Paris
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 17 Feb 2020
By: Priya Sridhar
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: E. F. Schraeder
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Feb 2020
By: Shannon Sanders
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 3 Feb 2020
By: Ada Hoffmann
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: S.R. Tombran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 27 Jan 2020
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: