You've heard of early adopters, right? Excited about new technology, always eager for the next great gadget?
Then there are the total refuseniks, the ones who aren't on Facebook or who don't have cell phones.
Somewhere in the middle, but closer to the second group, are people like me.
My family got its first computer when I was still a kid. But it was always an older computer. I remember using WordPerfect 5.1, orange text on a black screen, for years. Yep, that was on DOS. The other day someone in my household ran into computer problems and ended up at a DOS prompt, and then at a DOS Shell menu...cue the nostalgia! I remember first using email in DOS, and being annoyed when the Internet started going graphic and our computer didn't have that capability so it got harder and harder to surf the web...
I got my first digital camera and my first cell phone in 2004 -- and there was no going back. Those two things were just too convenient. No more paying to develop tons of rolls of photos after a long trip? The ability to phone anyone...from anywhere? Eureka!
Still I remained a late adopter. I got a laptop in 2005 only because an acquaintance was selling one, an ereader in 2011 only because it was a gift. (The laptop was another game-changer; the ereader less so, although I now read about 1/3 of my books in ebook form and my bookshelves thank me for it.)
And just under two months ago, I finally got a smartphone.
A free serial story
by Siri Paulson
The city that Payut walked through was empty and not-empty at the same time. Its wide canals and narrow streets lay vacant, free of the chaotic bustle that flickered at the edges of his memory. The people had fled, driven away by the imbalance in the five elements that sickened the land. But he was not alone.
He would turn down a street where nothing moved, but the echo of large wings faded away ahead of him. Or he would catch motion out of the corner of his eye, but when he turned, only blank windows and closed doors met his gaze. Crossing a bridge over a canal, he saw something moving under the water, long and dark, bigger than the boat he had left at the city gate while getting past the guards. It paced him until he reached the far end of the bridge, then disappeared.
A supernatural flash story by Erin Zarro
“I have killed, Master,” The Penitent Agatha said. She sat in a circle of flickering flames. “See that girl?” She pointed to the limp, pale figure of her latest kill, naked and still bound with rope. “Her screams were a symphony to my ears. Did you enjoy the music she made as she died?”
“And I will enjoy the music your daughter makes when she dies, Penitent,” a voice whispered.
It was him.
She placed her sweaty hands on her lap and bowed her head. “Master, I can't kill my only daughter.”
The candles snuffed out and Agatha found herself surrounded by darkness. What was happening?
“Penitent,” a voice said, loud and sharp as a blade. “Do you not want your dead husband restored to life?”
Agatha took a deep breath, then let it out. “But she's my flesh and blood, Master. I'll kill anyone else, just not my daughter!”
"This was our agreement, Penitent. You are not allowed to change it." Twin balls of amber flared. She wanted to curl inside herself, get away from his eyes. “You'll do as I say. Bring me your daughter's corpse tomorrow. This one will do for now,” her Master said.
She took a deep, cleansing breath and steeled herself for what was to come.