The Pure Product
Our fifth piece of audio fiction for December is “The Pure Product” written by John Kessel and read by Kate Baker.
Originally published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, March 1986.
John Kessel is the author of the forthcoming novel The Moon and the Other. His other novels are Good News from Outer Space and Corrupting Dr. Nice and in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity, The Pure Product, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories and The Collected Kessel. His fiction has twice received the Nebula Award, in addition to the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, the Locus Award, and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. His play "Faustfeathers" won the Paul Green Playwright's Prize, and his story "A Clean Escape" was adapted as an episode of the 2006 ABC TV series Masters of Science Fiction. In 2009 his story "Pride and Prometheus" received both the Nebula and the Shirley Jackson Awards.
With Kelly, he has edited six anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short speculative fiction, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology (2012) and Kafkaesque (2011).
Kessel has taught American literature and fiction writing at North Carolina State University since 1982, helped found the NCSU MFA program in creative writing, and served twice as its director. He lives with his wife, the novelist Therese Anne Fowler, in Raleigh.