“Life Is Information” up at Daily Science Fiction

My science fiction flash piece about the nature of sentience “Life Is Information” is now available at Daily Science Fiction.


One comment:

  1. Dear Jennifer R. Povey, 2022-12-30
    I stumbled upon your article, “Why Did Little Boys Wear Dresses?” dated March 15, 2021. After reading it, I thought you might enjoy hearing about my family and the community where I grew up. But before I do, I need to give you some background for clarity.

    When I was six years old, my older sister and I were telling Great-Grandmother Hill, the eldest, about our skinny-dipping in a cow watering tank the previous day. So, she told us about growing up in a small community in 1850s Oklahoma. Grandma said children didn’t wear any clothing in the summertime until puberty. She said children were just children until then. So, when they did wear clothes, they wore the same dress-like garments. She said clothing was expensive to purchase or time-consuming to make. Saying, “It’s easier to wash off stuff than it is to wash out stuff.” Even the adults didn’t wear much in the summertime. It was too hot. Great-Grandmother Hill, the eldest, said the Missionaries taught everyone to be hot and uncomfortable.

    My father’s mother was a staunch Methodist. She disapproved of nudity or boys wearing anything like dresses.

    My mother’s mother was raised in 1890s Omaha, Nebraska. The sixth of ten children. She told us her siblings all wore identical gowns until they entered school. Grandma giggled rather giddily as she described them. At two years old, their gowns brushed the floor. At five, they barely covered their bare bottoms. She got her first pair of bloomers when she started school.

    Her older siblings emigrated to Long Beach, California, and married into high society. Or so they believed. To mimic the Aristocracy of Europe, they raised their boys in dresses until they started school. Then they wore baggy shorts, much like culottes. However, they continued to wear dresses for special occasions, like birthdays, Christmas, and family gatherings, until puberty. They got their first pair of adult long trousers on their fourteenth birthday. The family kept this tradition until World War Two.

    My mother said it was absolutely adorable. The boys tried to outdress the girls. While the girls wore dresses that covered their knees. The boys gravitated toward short juvenile dresses that flaunted their frilly, lace-trimmed panties.

    I wore my first pink nightgown at two! Our mother bathed my sister and me. Then took us into the living room to dry and dress in front of the heater. When Mother sent my sister to get pajamas for us, she came back with two of her nighties. After all, pajamas are pajamas when you are three years old.

    And thus, I became my adored sister’s little living doll. Something I genuinely enjoyed. We played “Dress-Me-Up,” until I entered puberty at fourteen. When I didn’t feel pretty anymore. Although I have many wonderful memories of my sister dressing me up pretty with lipstick and everything.

    Steven Friend

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