“Border Guards” is a 1999 science fiction novelette by Greg Egan. It is about a group of long-lived humans who discover a truly ancient woman.
A Story I Almost Didn’t Read
I am not a huge Greg Egan fan, so I don’t know if I ever would have read this story had it not been for Blue Tyson telling me it was one of his all-time favorite science fiction stories. Anyway, I decided to give it a go because I respect his opinion, and it had been a while since I read one. Let me just say that I am very glad I did because this is a great story and, along with Oceanic, ranks as one of my favorite Egan stories.
Jamil has just come out of “sadness” – which is a way in which immortal people hide out from the world. Just a few days after returning he joins a type of futuristic soccer game where he meets a strangely fascinating woman who is an excellent player. As he attempts to find out more about her he discovers that nobody really knows anything… and that she can be an enormous prick! Finally something happens in their lives that help bring them together and causes her to share the most amazing story anyone has ever heard!
Some Interesting Tidbits
- Word count: 9,567 (16 pages)
- So, the Wikipedia article for Greg Egan says that he “appears in no photographs on the Web.” Really? Do you think that’s true? If you know of any pictures of this author on the internet please point them out, because now I’m just curious!
Where To Find Border Guards
- This short story was first published in Interzone #148 (October 1999).
- You can read “Border Guards” for free online at Greg Egan’s web site.
- It is also included in the anthology The Locus Awards: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked “Border Guards” then you may enjoy “Oceanic” also by Greg Egan – about an ocean dwelling man living on the planet Covenant, and how the events of his life take him from religious zealot to non-believing academic.