Itsy Bitsy Spider
Itsy Bitsy Spider

Year of publication: 1997
Sequence of publisher: Asimov's science fiction 1997-07

Itsy Bitsy Spider

James Patrick Kelly

Science fiction

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Itsy Bitsy Spider by James Patrick Kelly Illustration by Laurie Harden When I found out that my father was still alive after all these years and living at Strawberry Fields, I thought he’d gotten just what he deserved. Retroburbs are where the old, scared people go to hide. I’d always pictured the people in them as deranged losers. Visiting some fantasy world like the disneys or Carlucci’s Carthage is one thing, moving to one is another. Sure, 2038 is messy, but it’s a hell of a lot better than nineteen-sixty-whatever. Now that I’d arrived at 144 Bluejay Way, I realized that the place was worse than I had imagined. Strawberry Fields was pretending to be some long-lost suburb of the late twentieth century, except that it had the sterile monotony of cheap VR. It was clean, all right, and neat, but it was everywhere the same. And the scale was wrong. The lots were squeezed together and all the houses had shrunk—like the dreams of their owners. They were...