by Charlie Jane Anders
When he turned thirteen, Henry decided to lose his virginity. But he stumbled around girls and felt shy about his penis. What if his penis was the wrong size, or had too weird of a shape? Sometimes it looked too bendy. What if he came too soon, or couldn’t come at all?
“I’m worried about my penis,” Henry said to his brother Martin, who was visiting from the NONA nano-tech lab. Martin was ten years older. He had lemon-eater face and receding hair. His shoulders were strong but hunched forward.
“You should be worried,” Martin said. “At your age, you can do something about your endowment. You can also learn habits that last a lifetime.” Martin was ten years older than Henry, and already divorced.
This answer didn’t make Henry happy. He had been expecting Martin to reassure him, or maybe give some advice. But then Martin offered Henry a small tube that looked like toothpaste, but the white label only said ONAN.
“This is something we are testing at NONA,” said Martin. “We think it’s only effective during puberty. Why don’t you try it and see what happens?”
“What do I do with it?” Henry asked.
“Use it when you masturbate,” Martin. “As lubricant. Keep notes of the date and time, and how much you use each time. Let me know when you finish the whole tube.”
Henry had more questions, but then he felt embarrassed. And he figured he would see for himself what would happen.
Martin went home that evening, and after dinner Henry locked his bedroom door. He surfed on to cameltoeplanet.com and looked at the pictures until he felt like touching himself. He was still learning to masturbate.
He pulled the ONAN tube out of his sock drawer and unscrewed the cap. Under the cap, he broke a seal. Then he squeezed it and a big shimmery silver blob plopped out onto his hand. He managed to screw the cap back on with one hand. Then he spread the blob onto his penis, as evenly as he could. It felt almost frictionless, except for some kind of grit that was almost too small to feel.
After Henry ejaculated into a wad of toilet paper, he carefully wrote the date and time on a piece of paper. He guessed he’d used about an ounce of ONAN.
The next few days, Henry used ONAN eight times, once in the mornings and one or two times in the evenings. He didn’t notice anything unusual, except that it was better than vaseline because it didn’t dry up as fast.
The fourth day, Henry woke up with an erection, which looked a little bigger than usual. He reached for the tube of ONAN, which was about half gone. He squeezed from the bottom, rolling the tube up the way his mom had taught him.
He definitely thought his penis might be larger than before. But that wasn’t the strange thing that happened. When he ejaculated, he tossed the kleenex at his Spider-Man garbage can and missed. That wasn’t the strange thing, either. The kleenex wad vibrated a little, and then the little slick of Henry’s semen separated itself and slithered across the floor while Henry watched. The little glob wriggled towards Henry’s desk, then changed course and slid under Henry’s dresser. And then it was gone.
Henry pulled his pajamas up and went over to peer under his dresser. There was no sign of the sperm. He noticed a little crack in the floorboards.
In the shower, Henry looked down at his penis and wondered if he had really seen his semen slithering. Could his dreamstate have intruded on his early-morning waking mind? He didn’t think so.
He decided to pretend nothing had happened. Except that he wrote on the sheet of paper, the date and time, then half an ounce, and: “Sperm ran away.”
That evening, Henry almost didn’t use the ONAN tube again. But he did think his penis was looking bigger and straighter than before. And his penis responded to his thoughts. He no longer had erections in school when he didn’t want them. But if he wanted an erection, he didn’t even need to look at cameltoeplanet. He just decided to have an erection, and he had one.
So he decided to use the ONAN again. And the same thing happened as in the morning. The clot of sperm slithered away under the dresser.
The next couple of days, this happened five more times. Henry worried a colony of his semen was living under the floorboards of his house. He felt as though he was hearing more creaking noises than before. He decided it was his imagination, but then his dad mentioned it too.
One week after Martin gave him the tube of ONAN, Henry handed him the piece of paper. The tube was two-thirds empty.
“Has the sperm shown up again? After going away?” Martin asked.
“No,” Henry said. “We have heard some creaking noises. And our central heating isn’t working.”
“That’s probably nothing to worry about,” Martin said. “Just tell me if it comes back. It probably dries out and then the nanites cease to function. It’s a byproduct.”
“Can I have another tube of ONAN?” Henry said.
“No,” Martin said. “One tube is the standard dose.”
Henry started squeezing the tube lighter and lighter, to make the ONAN last as long as possible.
His penis was definitely looking bigger, and he could make his erections turn on and off like a faucet. He counted how many times he could get hard and soft in one minute, and got up to fifteen.
He dreamed the floor of his bedroom was slanting, so his bed was at the bottom of a slope. When he woke up, the floor did look more uneven than before.
When the tube of ONAN was almost empty, Henry looked at his penis and thought about making it bigger. It got bigger. When it was the size of a one-liter coke bottle, he stopped. He just watched it for a while, even though it didn’t move or change. He could just about get both hands around it.
He wondered if he could get off without coming, by holding his seed in. He tried to do that, but it hurt like a kick deep inside him. Then he let go, and the sperm flew out.
Henry didn’t even bother to use a kleenex any more, because the sperm took care of itself.
Henry’s mother thought there might be mice in the walls of their house. She worked at the Human Resources department at NONA. “We need a big vacuum cleaner, to suck them out,” she said as she carried a pot roast to the dinner table. “We don’t want them dying inside our walls.”
“It doesn’t sound like mice,” Henry’s father said. He had worked at NONA, too, until they let him go recently. “It sounds like insects.”
“We have to get the heater working before December,” his mother said. Henry didn’t say anything at all.
That night, he shaped letters of the alphabet using his penis. “I” and “T” were the easiest, but then he managed to make “J.” And from there, it was easy to make “Z.” He was scared to make a letter with holes in it, like “B,” because he didn’t want holes in his penis. But then his curiosity took over, and he thought about a “B” until his penis looked like one, rounded on one side and flat on the other.
He could barely squeeze any more out of the ONAN tube.
That night, he thought he could hear more than one shape inside the floorboards.
The next day, at school, Henry couldn’t resist making shapes with his penis during Biology. He made it go all the way down both of his pant legs at once, as far as the knees, and then push against the material. He made it shrink to the size of a marble.
During afternoon recess, he found Rachel, the school slut, near the water fountain. She had a barrette in her sandy hair. And she wore lipgloss. Her face was covered with freckles, almost too light to see.
“I heard that you say yes to everything,” Henry said.
“You shouldn’t believe everything you hear.” Rachel was chewing gum and drinking from the fountain at the same time. Henry did not think her gum could possibly have any flavor.
“I can make shapes with my penis,” Henry said. And then, as an afterthought: “And I think you’re pretty.” He showed her, right there at the water fountain, what he could do. She could see the letters of the alphabet, through his cotton/polyester blend pants.
“You could hurt me with that thing,” Rachel said.
“But I won’t,” Henry said. “I promise.”
They went under the bleachers after school. Rachel told Henry she was a virgin too, but Henry didn’t believe her. She undid his pants and took his penis in one hand. It grew big.
“No,” she said. “Make it smaller.”
He made it smaller, the size of a pussy willow.
“Smaller,” she said. She kept stroking it and saying “Smaller.” Finally it was the size of a rubber band, but still hard. Then Rachel pulled down her pants and underwear and let Henry put it inside her.
She rocked her pelvis and Henry stayed still. “Make it a little longer,” she said, and he did. “And now make it stick out a little bit here.” She pointed to the top part of her bush. “And here.” She pointed a little higher. Henry’s penis became F-shaped.
Rachel kept giving directions, describing a complicated shape. Like a key to an old house. Soon Henry couldn’t even visualize what his penis looked like, but it didn’t matter. He could keep a shape without seeing it in his mind. Rachel stopped giving directions and started saying “Yes” instead.
Henry wondered if it would be bad for him to ejaculate inside Rachel. It hadn’t occurred to him until now that his running-away sperm would be weird inside another person. But then he decided it would be fine. His sperm would just run away as usual. Also, he couldn’t say he had lost his virginity unless he came inside her. So he did.
“That was amazing,” Rachel said. “Please don’t hurt me coming out again.” So Henry made his penis collapse to the size of a walnut before he removed it. She cleaned both of them up with some baby wipes she had brought. And then the two of them sat under the bleachers and he amused her by making shapes. They watched the clouds go by, and he copied every cloud with his penis. Henry felt peaceful.
He and Rachel met every afternoon after that. He invented a fake club, the National Association for Occupational Navigation, that he had to stay behind for.
Henry learned to make part of his penis stay outside Rachel’s body while they had sex. It could touch the outside places she wanted him to touch while the rest of his penis was inside. He started making the tip of his penis stretch all the way into Rachel’s womb when he came. The tip of his penis was so thin that Rachel couldn’t even tell it was there.
Henry thought now that he’d lost his virginity for sure, he should have sex with as many other girls as possible. Maybe Rachel had already told the other girls how good he was. He had seen girls talking about their lovers to each other on television. But he didn’t know how to approach any of the other girls, without asking them on a date. The idea of going on a real date, to a restaurant, scared him.
So instead he asked Rachel if she would be his girlfriend. Maybe he could practice going on dates with her, since they were already having sex. Going to dinner must be easier if you’ve already been inside someone.
“Why do you want to date me?” she asked. They were watching the football practice from under the bleachers. “We’re already having sex. And you think I’m the school slut.”
“I don’t think that any more,” Henry said. “You don’t have time to be a slut. And nobody else can make the shape that I make for you.” He reflexively made that shape with his penis. It looked like a tree with a few twisty branches and two snaky roots.
“That’s true,” Rachel said. “Do you actually like me?”
“Yes.” And Henry realized he did like Rachel. He had never felt comfortable with another person before this. He looked forward to laying and talking under the bleachers after sex almost as much as the sex.
“I like you too, even though you’re a weirdo. Okay. You can take me to Applebee’s.”
The Applebee’s was on the edge of the NONA campus. Henry and Rachel took a shuttle over there, from the little coffee shop and tattoo parlor near their school. One window of the Applebee’s looked up at a cluster of big concrete buildings. The other window showed a walkway leading past a parking lot, a gymnasium and a pond. Some people stood along the edge of the pond, fishing with lucite rods. Other people nearby stuck their heads into telepresence hoods that let them be the fish in the pond, tempted by the bait.
Everyone in Applebee’s had a NONA lanyard except for Henry and Rachel. They sat near the window facing the pond. One man shouted from inside his hood because he had bitten a hook.
“Do you think you will work for NONA when you grow up?” Henry asked.
“We both will,” Rachel said. “Unless we move far away. Everybody works for NONA.”
They both ate chicken fingers and then they shared a big Oreo sundae. Henry almost made his penis go down his pants leg and tickle Rachel’s ankle, but he didn’t want to do it with so many people watching.
When Henry got home, Martin was sitting in a kitchen chair while his parents stalked around him.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” Henry’s mom said.
“We’ll have to sell our house, in a bad market,” his dad said.
Henry realized they were talking about his sperm. He masturbated less now that he was seeing Rachel every day. But his sperm still crawled inside the boards of the house, louder every night. The exterminator had come and tried everything, but it hadn’t helped.
“It’ll be fine,” Martin said. “Henry, can I talk to you alone?”
They went up to Henry’s room, while their parents kept shouting downstairs.
Henry sat on his bed and Martin dragged in a beanbag from his old room. “You can’t tell mom and dad about your sperm,” Martin said. “They don’t have the authorization to know about it.”
“I don’t want to move to a new place.” Henry put his face in his pillow.
“You don’t have to move.” Martin put his ear to the wall to hear the scraping. “Have you tried talking to them? To your sperm?” He looked way older than twenty three, because he had no hair and he squinted all the time.
“Hello, sperm,” Henry tried.
“No,” Martin said. “Not like that. Talk to them with your penis. You should be able to trigger a retrieval sequence.” Henry tried, but it was hard to concentrate. “Keep trying,” Martin said. Then he got in his sports car and went home. Henry went to sleep with his parents still shouting downstairs.
In the middle of the night, the sperm woke Henry up. It sounded angry, or urgent. He made his penis into the shape of an antenna and tried to send a signal. The sperm just kept scritching. Henry made his penis extend all the way to the wall from the bed, with the tip shaped like a suction cup.
Scritch twice if you can hear me, Henry thought. The sperm paused and then went, scratch scratch.
Come back, Henry thought. Nothing happened for a while. Then a putty started oozing through a crack between the wall and the floor. It looked like the caulk that held the bathroom tiles together. It slid across Henry’s floor towards his penis.
Henry was afraid of what would happen when the line of putty reached him. He almost told it to stop, but then it would just go back into the wall. So he let it keep coming. It was the size of his thumb, maybe bigger.
The thick puddle climbed up the side of Henry’s bed and across his bedspread. Then it reached his penis and climbed inside through his peehole. Henry braced for terrible pain, but it just felt weird. He relaxed and let it go, and his penis became a funnel. Then it was all gone, and the house was quiet.
The next day, at lunch, Henry watched Rachel from across the cafeteria. She was sitting alone and so was he. He wondered if he could make all his sperm come back to him from inside her, the way he had done with the wall-sperm. He concentrated and tried to talk to the sperm inside Rachel, but it wouldn’t talk to him.
Instead, he heard the sperm inside him, shouting. It wanted to go outside. It wasn’t just the usual eagerness of semen, but a trapped-underground feeling. He sat in his math class, after lunch, and he could barely hear the teacher over the pounding of his semen. It scared him to death.
Then he realized: it was the come that had gotten back inside him the previous night. He had all that extra stuff in his testes now, and it needed to go somewhere. He had more seed in him than a human was built to hold at one time.
He asked to be excused and went to the boys’ room to masturbate, right in the middle of math class. He thought if he could send the sperm into the septic tank, it wouldn’t bother anybody again. He locked himself in the only stall that locked, while Robby Lewis pounded on the fat kid for not stealing cigarettes like Robby wanted.
Henry screened out the punching sounds and made his penis a stiff cone, pointed down at the toilet. He told the sperm to get out, but it wouldn’t go. He tried rubbing it and making it expand and contract against his hand. Nothing happened. He tried until he was in trouble with his math teacher. The semen got stubborn.
Back in math class, he listened to the noises inside him, until he understood better. The sperm didn’t just want to go out, it wanted to be inside a person. No, it wanted to be inside Rachel, in particular. It wanted to join the other sperm he’d put inside her already, so it would all be in one place.
What would happen then? The urgency of the yelling in Henry’s balls scared him. His sperm was rude and unfriendly, and he didn’t want it to go inside Rachel, because he liked her. He did not think the sperm would be good for her.
“I don’t feel good,” Henry said. “Can I go to the nurse?” Mister Gordon said yes. When Henry got to the nurse’s office, he just looked at the wall and said “It hurts” over and over, without explaining. The nurse sent him home.
Henry’s dad was home because he lost his job. He was glad to have company, but Henry went to his room and locked the door. Henry tried to masturbate several more times, but everything clung to his insides.
“I’m not going back to school until you behave,” Henry said aloud. The sperm did not want to have a discussion with him.
And anyway, Henry was wrong, because his parents sent him back to school the next day. Henry tried to stay away from Rachel. But she found him during recess and asked if he was okay. He said sort of. He told her he didn’t want to put his penis inside her any more, without explaining anything. She said she was tired of his penis anyway, because it wasn’t like a real penis. Then she walked away. Henry worried for a few hours that she really didn’t like his penis, but then he decided she was just saying that.
After that, it was easy to avoid Rachel. But Henry’s testicles would not shut up. They were like a dog that needs to go outside. It took all of Henry’s concentration just to hear what people were saying to him. He felt sad that Rachel would never know how noble he was, saving her from all his extra sperm, but he didn’t want to explain the situation to her.
After two days, Henry felt he could be turning into one of the crazy people. He called Martin.
“Wow, you’re the first one,” Martin said. “I owe Russell a hundred bucks. He was sure you’d go for it with a girl first.” The two brothers sat side-by-side on Henry’s bed. They turned up Henry’s music speakers so their parents couldn’t hear.
Henry wasn’t sure what shocked him more: that there were other boys receiving ONAN, or the fact that his brother bet against him. “How many others are there?” he asked.
“Six others,” Martin said. “All over the country. You are the only local. And none of the others has reported any penetration. They’re all scared of their dicks, and they don’t think any girl would ever go near them. There have also been compliance issues, with some of the subjects stopping after just a couple doses. You can’t have a decent human-subjects trial with people quitting at random. Jesus.”
“But what should I do?” Henry said. “Do you have any way to make the semen shut up? Or leave my body? It’s hard to study with all this racket.”
“Well,” Martin said. “We didn’t expect that. But I guess it makes sense. The sperm wants to fulfill its function. It belongs inside the girl.”
“I don’t want to put it inside her. I think it could hurt her.”
“Well, we could take you the lab and run some tests. We could cut you open. But you are now a fully functional integrated node, so it could be hard to remove. Your best bet is just to play this out. And once you do, you can bring her to the lab. She’s the one we’re going to want to study.”
“Why do you want to study her instead of me?”
But Martin didn’t say much more after that.
Henry couldn’t think of what to do. He could try to convince his parents to move away, after all. But his mom still worked at NONA and she wouldn’t want to leave her job. So he would still end up going to the same school, with Rachel. It made Henry’s testicles hurt like a strep throat just to be in the same town as her.
He kept hoping the nanomachines would finally stop functioning, but they stayed as strong as ever. He forgot to dodge during dodgeball and caught a basketball in the head. The nanomachines must be feeding off Henry somehow, maybe eating his real sperm. He felt like a zombie or a ghost, walking around without seeing anything, thinking about one thing over and over. Henry made his penis the size of a grain of rice, but he couldn’t do anything about his testicles.
No matter how much he tried to avoid Rachel, Henry kept seeing her around the school. He ate his lunch in the parking lot and spent recess in the computer lab, but he saw her in the hallways and Spanish class. She wouldn’t look at him either. He wondered if she had gone back to being a slut. Sometimes he would smell her lipgloss and know she was standing behind him, without turning around.
After about ten days, Henry was in the hallway, thinking about his sperm, when Rachel walked by. He saw her eyes for a moment, and they looked like his eyes. Crazy, without focus, staring, dull, red. Her hair was messy and her shirt was buttoned wrong.
Henry grabbed her arm. “Are they talking to you, too?” he asked. “I keep hearing them, in the back of my mind. Are you hearing them too?” He didn’t care that other kids in the hallway could hear and smirk at him and Rachel.
Rachel nodded. “They won’t shut up.”
“I’m really sorry,” Henry said. “It’s my fault.”
“What are we going to do?” Rachel said. “They want to be all together. Inside me. It’s like dying of thirst.”
“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Henry said. “Let’s ditch school.”
They went to the mall. It was a good place to be together and not have sex.
“It’s weird being at the mall during the day,” Rachel said. It was full of old people in tracksuits, walking in laps. Forever 21 was empty. The bored food court people gave Henry and Rachel extra sample forks, so they didn’t go hungry. “I don’t know if I can hold out,” Rachel said. “The longer I’m near you, the worse it hurts.”
They looked at socks with pandas on them, at the sock store. The socks were all crisp and bright, folded flat. They would make your feet feel brand new for the first few minutes you wore them.
“It’s like I’m horny, but also sick,” Henry said. Look at the socks, he told himself. He was making his penis shrink almost to nothing, but it still felt harder than life. He could not see past it.
“Do you know why I’m the school slut?” Rachel said. “It’s not because I fucked anyone, before you. It’s because I stole my mom’s vibrator. And I told one girl at school, and she told everyone.”
“Was your mom mad?”
“She never said anything.”
Henry realized he had made a bad decision. He should not have ditched school with Rachel, he should have stayed far away from her. Now they were bound to have sex, and rest of the bugs would get inside her, and Martin would want to study her. He had probably made this mistake on purpose.
Henry almost made an excuse to run away, but he didn’t.
“It’s a rabbit,” Rachel said. They left the sock store and went to the NONA store, which was half the mall. “The vibrator is a rabbit. The first time I got there, it felt so good. But it also felt huge. Like I was touching something bigger than my little life. Like Jesus, or Buddha. And then, I was a different person.”
Henry didn’t know what to say. He wanted to do her so much. He would not be able to forgive himself. The NONA store had kitchen knives that molded themselves to your hands, so you could not cut yourself. And tools that remembered what you had built, so they could build it without you next time. The store’s customer service visionary was watching them, so they left.
“Maybe it’ll be okay,” Rachel said. “We’ll put yours and mine together. And then, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll be touching something bigger than me, again.” Henry shook his head. “I don’t know. Maybe, anyway,” Rachel said. “They say that’s what it’ll be like. Really big.”
This was it. This was the moment Henry had to be a man and walk away. Sometime during this talk, Rachel had taken both of his hands. They were standing outside the NONA store, like square dancers. She pulled on his hands.
Be a man. Walk away.
Henry let her pull him. His blood was thinning. His penis was super-compressed, contents under pressure. He could see himself following her, but he couldn’t stop. And then he made an effort and stopped in his tracks. He started talking, and she kissed him on the lips.
They found a janitor closet with a padlock hanging open. Inside it smelled like the swimming pool at the end of the day. Rachel pulled Henry against her, into a wall of toilet paper rolls and paper towels. They were still kissing. Her hands on his face. He pulled her pants down.
The things inside Henry were shouting for joy. He didn’t even need to move closer to her or open her legs. His penis found its way to her as soon as he let it out. It stretched out inside her until he was deeper than ever before. Her womb was full of him. She shrieked and knocked TP on the floor. Henry wanted to be gentle but he felt too crazy.
“I’m going to break open,” Henry said.
“Do it,” Rachel said. “Break open. Break in half.”
“I’m going to break in half,” Henry said. And then he did. He felt as if he were splitting in two, and all of his life poured out of him. He emptied out. There was nothing left of him.
“Oh wow,” Rachel said. Henry’s penis fell out of her and rewound into his pants. He could hear noises outside their door. “I feel... They are talking to me, louder than before. I’m going to be the first of a new type of person.”
“Are you pregnant?” Henry was trying to fasten his jeans. They seemed to have a hundred buttons. “I thought maybe you would be pregnant.”
“They say I’m not pregnant,” Rachel said. “I’m the baby. They grew inside you. And now they’re remaking me.”
“We should go,” Henry said. He closed his pants at last. He still felt empty. The sperm weren’t talking to him any more. He didn’t feel sick any more, just tired. Like he had not slept in weeks.
The janitor opened the door while Rachel was still putting her pants on. “You kids,” he said.
A mall cop was right behind him. “I’m calling your parents,” he said. Henry and Rachel followed the mall cop to his office. Henry felt glad he was going home, so he could sleep. But then he was worried about Martin. What if Martin found out about Rachel?
“You can’t tell anyone,” he said to Rachel. “They’re going to want to take you apart.”
“Shut up,” the mall cop said. “I’m telling your parents, and that’s final.”
Rachel ignored the mall cop. “I don’t care who knows,” she said. “I’m changing into something new.” The mall cop’s office was a little bigger than the janitor closet, with a girlie calendar over the desk. Rachel was getting taller.
Henry rubbed his eyes, still tired. It was true, Rachel was taller than before. She was the same height as him now. “You’re taller,” he said.
“Shut up,” the mall cop said.
“I’m rebuilding,” Rachel said. “I don’t know how tall I’ll be when I finish up.”
“Sit down and think about what you’ve done,” the mall cop said.
“You kids,” the janitor said.
Rachel was taller than Henry now. Her skin looked shiny, like Plexiglas. No more freckles. Her hair was white. The mall cop noticed.
“Never mind your parents.” He reached for the phone. “I’m calling NONA. They should know about you.” But his cordless had no signal, and neither did his cell.
“They’re talking to me,” Rachel said. Henry felt jealous. They weren’t talking to him any more. “They say NONA shouldn’t find me yet. Until I’m ready for them.”
“You just stay here,” the mall cop said.
“I have to go,” Rachel said. She got shinier and shinier. The cop reached for her and his hand went through her. Her clothes fell on the floor. She was a mist. Her face floated close to Henry’s. Her lips touched his, like a sprinkler. She whispered her new name to him: ONNA. And then she was gone.
Henry looked at her clothes on the floor. He stepped over them and sat in the plastic deck chair the mall cop wanted him to sit in. The mall cop looked at the janitor. They both looked at Henry. The mall cop’s phone worked now. He started to dial NONA, then changed his mind. Instead he called Henry’s dad, who was home as usual.
In the car going home, Henry’s dad tried to talk to him about what he’d done. Henry leaned his face against the window. He still felt flat empty.
Henry didn’t even wonder about his penis until he was almost home. Would it still work? He was so sleepy, it was hard to think about his penis at all. But when he told it to make an antenna, it did. He wanted to laugh. It still worked. He told his penis to beam a message to Rachel. To ONNA. Tell her to watch out. Be safe. He didn’t know if she could hear, but he repeated it anyway: be safe. Then he fell asleep, right there in the car with his father talking to him.
About the Author
Charlie Anders blogs about science fiction at io9.com. She has stories in a bunch of places, including the forthcoming Best Science Fiction Of The Year 2009, edited by Rich Horton, and the McSweeney's Joke Book Of Book Jokes. She's the author of a novel, Choir Boy, the co-editor of the anthology She's Such A Geek, and the host of Writers With Drinks, possibly San Francisco's longest running monthly reading.
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