Bruce Sterling’s “Schismatrix.”

“You could call it that.  The words don’t matter.  It’s as far beyond Life as Life is from inert matter.  I’ve seen it happen, many times before.  I can feel it moving here, I can smell it in the wind.  People . . . creatures, beings, they’re all people to me . . . they ask the Final Questions.  And they get the Final Answers, and then it’s goodbye.  It’s the Godhead, or ass close as makes no difference to the likes of you and me.  Maybe that’s what you want, sundog?  The Absolute?”

“The Absolute,” Lindsay mused.  “The Final Answers. . . . What are your answers then, friend?”

“My answers?  I don’t have ’em.  I don’t care what goes on beneath this skin, I want only to see, only to feel.  Origins and destinies, predictions and memories, lives and deaths, I sidestep those.  I’m too slick for time to grip, you get me, sundog?”

from Schismatrix PLUS by Bruce Sterling (1996 ed.)

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