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Second Person, Present Tense by Daryl Gregory

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"Second Person, Present Tense" is a 2005 science fiction novelette by Daryl Gregory. It is about a young woman who becomes a different person after a rare over-dose on a strange drug.

Non-Spoiler Summary

Shattered and waiting by Murtada al Mousawy, CC 2.0 License

Therese Klass seems like a completely different girl to her parents. Um… that’s because she is. The well-behaved 17 year old mysteriously over-dosed on the drug Zen a couple of years ago and that did quite a number on her personality. Now after years of therapy, Therese and her parents are trying to start a new life together – and it isn’t easy. As Therese learns more about her former self, she begins to understand what could have possibly pushed the “other Therese” over the edge – and that isn’t very pleasant either. Will her parents be able to understand and accept that? A good question indeed!

Some Juicy Tidbits About This Story

  • Word count: 8,515 (15 pages)
  • "Second Person, Present Tense" placed 1st in the 2006 Asimov’s Reader Poll for Best Novelette.
  • Did you know that Daryl Gregory has been a high school English teacher and a technical writer? Yep. You can learn more about this amazing author on his web site.

Where To Find Second Person, Present Tense

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked "Second Person, Present Tense" then you may also enjoy “Going Deep” by James Patrick Kelly – about a cloned teenage girl who lives on the moon and is about to be offered a life changing opportunity.