Business As Usual • 2014 • shortfiction by Pat Cadigan

★★★1/2

Meta: ISFDB. This Near SF short story appeared in the 2014 anthology Twelve Tomorrows, my review here.

Imagine a fridge locking its door because you ate already too much and signed an insurance plan. Imagine further that you trick the fridge by storing your things to a picnic fridge, but your talky toilet snitches you?

I liked the language and easy-going style of this story with those tongue-in-cheek comments of a grandma having problems with new internetted things. And I know that Pat Cadigan can write awesome stories, like The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi. But here, the worldbuilding is not very believable for me in parts. At least, not for a near future scenery – I can’t imagine a fridge phoning up a callcenter operator to discuss free will, funny as it might be. But connecting fridges, toilets etc. to each other and to health insurances or doctors is very believable. In fact, I know of a similar case where cars gather driving information for the insurance if you selected a certain pay scale. Cadigan extrapolates this to a darker future where the fridge tries to steer a certain human behaviour.

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