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Three Leaves of Aloe: 04/02/11
"Three Leaves of Aloe" was one of my all time Fantasy and Science Fiction short stories from 2009. It has since earned a spot in the Year's Best Science Fiction for that year (published in July 2010). And yet it slipped through the cracks of my reviewing schedule.
The story takes place in India. The main character works in an American call center and her teenage daughter has borrowed her cell phone and gotten in trouble at school. The cell phone though is company property and there's hell to pay for it getting into the wrong hands. The only option that will allow her to keep her job is to have the Nannychip installed in her daughter.
It's only after that we learn from the Auntie the consequences of having a Nannychip installed. What I loved about the story was the perfect blending of setting and plot. The Nannychip story could have taken place anywhere and so often would take place in an Western urban setting like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco (if Philip K Dick had written it) or London. It was refreshing to see the same type of story set in India. It seems that science fiction so often forgets about most of the world.