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Not remotely referring to a piece of clothing.

On top of a building is a Fantasy Jumper kiosk. You pay money and customise what the jumper looks like (one of the first ones resembles the client’s mother), and the kiosk prints out a person. They say, “This time, maybe I’ll reach the fountain,” and take a running leap off the edge of the building. They splatter into bone and blood on the pavement, something the pedestrians ignore as soon as they realise it wasn’t alive. After a moment the pavement opens and removes the bones and blood, ready for someone else to buy a jumper.

With three POV characters McIntosh manages to get a broad spectrum of reactions to this technology, managing to be dense while still making the character moments affecting.

The Fantasy Jumper by Will McIntosh

Availability: Print, ebook

First published: 2008

Word count: 2,600

First published: Black Static, Feb 2008

Where to find it: The Year’s Best SF and Fantasy 2009, edited by Rich Horton, 2009, Prime Books (available from Weightless Books here)

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