Lady with Fox

This is a review of “Lady with Fox” by Gregory Benford, appearing in the anthology Carbide Tipped Pens.

It is a sparse story, a quiet story. The unnamed protagonist gets involved with a young lady, who happens to own a domestic fox. (Obviously there have been reforms at the California Dept, of Forestry). The fox is really a red herring and the real story is about their relationship, and how he comes to learn of her possessiveness and duplicity.

The story is also about a new technology, one that allows a direct connection mind to mind between two people.Something we’re actually working on, what with Brain Net from MIT, and I suspect other projects. In as much as Benford’s machine provides an electronic amplification and transmission of thoughts, and thoughts are born of the mind and thus can be considered psychic phenomena, what the author has done is create a working psionic device. Not that John Campbell, who coined the word, was right about psychic abilities overall, but still as long as we have one psychic ability (cognition) and that ability can be amplified electronically we can have psionic devices.

As I noted the story is a quiet one. Even the one fight between our protagonist and another is described as if being put down in a police report by a police officer nearing the age of retirement. But don’t read it for the excitement, for this is a matter of ideas and how we handle our relationships.

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