I'm super excited about this story. One reason for this is that it's my first sale to the new editor at Analog, Trevor Quachri. Another is that this story is not part of my Allied Systems Universe. Instead, it's a near-future story inspired by Google Glass and the changes the internet is making in our language...
Hub Girl is twelve years old and lives in the slum of a major city. She keeps herself and her gang of friends fed by hacking the radio transponders of vending machines, and coordinating complex raids using the Arkive, an in-your-head internet which allows everyone to overlay customized information upon their reality. However, when the mysterious Locker begins kidnapping the children and disconnecting them from the internet, Hub Girl investigates, and finds a far bigger, more pervasive problem than even the police suspected. Here's the opening:
She's a night-walker, she's a child-stalker.
Won't see her coming, no use running
hands'll snatch you, she'll catch you
She's the night-walker, she's the mind-locker.
Since there won't be room in the magazine for me to provide a dedication, I've decided to do it here. I would like to dedicate this story to a group of amazing authors who have provided me with incredible inspiration, constantly showing me what kind of excellence is achievable, making me think, and opening my eyes to new ways of seeing the world. My deepest thanks to the late Octavia Butler, and to the vital and vibrant Nnedi Okorafor, Nora Jemisin, and Mary Anne Mohanraj. I couldn't have written this story without them.