“Imaginary Children” was originally published in the July/August 2020 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. It is based on a portion of Janet’s novel “The Juice.”
There was no way I could reveal my state of sinking distress as I sailed toward Victory Star, the second largest media corporation in the world. Tiny paparazzi drones zinged around me like mosquitoes, taking in my skirt, which shimmered with an ocean video in gray and green. They all knew I was Petra Cardinale, President of Entertainment and Information at Victory.
I was one of the key people in charge of the corporation’s vast holdings. It was home to nearly 400 studios for holographic productions and distributed thousands of series and games. The whole content portfolio was served up in 300 different languages all over the world and some outposts in space.
As my elevator soared up some 200 floors to my office suite, I maintained a façade of calm authority for all the tiny surveillance cameras in the elevator’s walls. And that’s the way I started my first meeting of the day, with Rico Reingold, before turning into a mess.