Skip to main content

Immersion by Aliette de Bodard

* Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate and sponsored links. Learn more on my Disclosure page.

"Immersion" is a 2012 science fiction short story by Aliette de Bodard. It is about 2 women in the far future who use technological devices to alter their appearances.

Who Do You Want To Be Today?

Have you ever wished you could change your appearance? I’ll admit I have. Here is an interesting story about a device that lets users display customized avatars over their physical bodies! And that’s not all – it also acts as a sort of tutor about what the wearer should say and do! I think that is really cool, and I would be tempted to say “Sign me up!” except that this story shows us yet another way that the latest, coolest gadgets can be bad for our health. Ulp – maybe I’ll hold off just a little bit!

Non-Spoiler Summary

Avatar-ina by Amenlu - Ani Mendez, CC 2.0 license

Quy is a young woman who works in her uncle’s Asian food restaurant on the space station Longevity. On one of her day’s off she is called in to help her uncle negotiate feast prices for a visiting couple. He asks Quy to wear her “immerser” – a device that puts a holographic representation over one’s body and also prompts the wearer with advice about correct customs and etiquette. She grudgingly complies, for her uncle’s sake, but she severely dis-likes the technology. When she arrives for negotiations she meets a woman whose use of the device has altered not only her physical appearance but her personality as well – and Quy likes that even less than the immerser itself!

Some Interesting Tidbits

Where To Find Immersion

  • This short story first appeared in the June 2012 edition of Clarkesworld Magazine.
  • You can read or listen to "Immersion" for free at the Clarkesworld web site.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you enjoyed "Immersion" then you may also like "The Shipmaker" – also by Aliette de Bodard and about a woman that builds ships for an alien race.