From the Italian fantascienza anthology “La Prima Frontiera” of October 2019.
The Task Lamp
by Bruce Sterling
Since you are the heir, you must hear the story of the lamp directly from my own lips. Never mind the gossip of the people. They never liked this lamp much. They only let me work with it because I worked for their sake.
So, my boy, once I was young like you, and this lamp was new and brilliant, and it was a lamp built to last, too. You can read books with this lamp when it’s dark as pitch outside. I read books in my bed at night because I’m a sick old man. If you don’t boast to anyone, you’ll get away with that.
So, to tell you my story: once, there were three great people among us. These three were the most Beautiful Woman in the World, and…
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