An SF novella.

Publication year: 1998
Format: ebook, pdf
Page count: 69
Publisher: WMG Publishing, Smashwords edition

Steffie “Storm-Warning” is one of the most successful coolhunters around. She looks at people and can accurately predict which style will become cool next. She takes pictures and sends them to various people who post them all over. If other people copy those styles, clothing, jewelry, body modifications, shoes, whatever Steffie earns a bundle.

However, her work forces her to be anonymous and always on the move, without ties to anyone. She hasn’t even spoken with her family for years. Lately, she’s been thinking about getting out of the business because she wants to connect with other people again but she loves the work itself, surfing people, hunting the next cool.

And then she receives a note from home, which forces her to face all of the things she ran away from fifteen years ago.

The story is set to the future where 1990s is a retro style. Real Levis are worth their weight in gold. Everyone who can afford it, is jacked straight into the information flow and styles change in an eye blink. People can also modify themselves, or their kids, in a drastic way.

The world reminds me strongly about Rusch’s Disappeared world: the links that people have constantly and the modifications people do so that they appear young. It’s only worthy mentioning when a person hasn’t used a modification to appear young. However, there’s no mention of aliens or traveling away from Earth.

Steffie had a strange and difficult childhood, and because of it she’s happy to remain anonymous and without ties to anyone. She’s independent and very good at her job. She’s also quite paranoid because if she’s recognized, it’s not possible for her to continue in her job. Her job as a trend setter seems pretty plausible to me already. The difference to the current day trend-setter (or wannabes) is that Steffie doesn’t create anything herself.

Each of the coolhunters have their own territory and Steffie is in Manhattan where only the really poor people live. She doesn’t have a place of her own and often she looks like she lives on the streets, even though she’s rich.

The story is quite depressing and tells about things that people are willing to do to get their own way.