Short Story: Educated Fishwives

ShortbreadAdam WestShort Stories › Educated Fishwives

Please log in or join for free to download, rate and comment on this story. You can read online without being a member!

About this Short Story

Written by
Adam West


Tribute to Philip Kindred Dick, in particular, his masterly tale - Ubik.


  • 679 Words
  • 35 Comments
  • 98% Community Rating
  • 7301 Views

Add to Bookshelf

Competitions & Prizes

This story has not yet been entered into any short story writing competitions.

This piece has not been edited by the ShortbreadStories team.

I decided to check again.

For the last time, I said to myself – no point keep on hoping the consignment would make it here before the twenty-second. It wouldn't. No choice but to proceed before it was too late.

I did not hold my breath as the hologram whirred up and out of the console in a lazy fashion, like a half-cut genie who could not care less about being emancipated.

The soon-to-be-re-incarcerated figure intoned: UPDATE ~~~~ Next consignment due eighteenth of – I jabbed a finger at the ephemeral terminal button. Cut its damn circuits.

'Don't worry,' she said.

'I do,' I said, 'what if...?'

Her arm came around me.

We listened to music till dawn. Off-World Imports Inc. Ancient stuff from cold climates before the days of the corporate World State and global meltdown.

Amiina. Samaris. Rökkurró.

Good music back then, I said, in the twenty-first century?

Falleg she replied.

Beautiful I agreed.

Before the sky turned to pink she…

  Read Short Story     Download Short Story


Please login or join for free to rate this story.


This story has yet to be reviewed!


Tobias Haglund said "I'm reading up on my West-stories and just thought I would drop a line. The complexities of your stories truly amazes me. I'm thinking about the worlds and environments. You are without a doubt a smart man, sir! All the very best my friend / Tobias"
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks you for reading, Tobias - I am always humbled to receive a comment on something I have written. It would be a stretch to remark that this story was based upon 'fact', but the Coble Cake and the 'We might be fishwives, but at least we're educated fishwives' is genuine! ATB Sir - Adam"
3 years ago
David Louden said "Love a bit of PKD but also love this in its own right. "All this freaky symbolism" is a great line as it "she gave me a drink..." There's a great terrain to the language as it shifts from lyrical to earthy. So glad I checked this one out."
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks David. Whilst the first three I wrote in this series perhaps owed most to the maestro this one stood out (for me) having acquired a life of its own - ATVB - Adam"
3 years ago
Willie Douglas said "Hi Adam: I know you attributed this to Philip Dick, but I think a great part of the story is Adam West. I am glad that Nick suggested this one, else I may have missed the opportunity for such a wonderful read. In my aging, I often wonder about the afterlife. Some believe that are souls are recycled in a similar fashion. Who really knows? I will read the other three contributions to get the full spectrum. I really love the digital, spiritual fusion of the story. The closing line says a lot, IMO. '...like a half-cut genie who could care less about being emancipated', is truly your voice, IMO. Great and engaging read!"
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Hi Willie - always great to have you around and many thanks as always for your thoughts - hope you get time to read the preceding trio! I am none to keen on labels whether they are supposed to explain our politics or our beliefs and avoid atheist and agnostic because they are shorthand easy fixes to explain something which is far more complex. My protagonists are similarly complex and yet uncomplicated in the manner in which they conduct their lives - the latter vaguely describes what I have tried to perfect in middle age - many thanks again for digging up my back numbers - ATB for now - Adam"
3 years ago
Kevin Thomson said "This journey to the corporate World State post global meltdown was, in my very humble opinion, very well crafted. A thought provoking piece that looks at the huge question of artificially extended life span in a nightmarish digital future. Congratulations Adam!"
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for reading, Kevin, and your analysis of the themes - some of which sustained PK Dick through 30+ years of novels and short stories - and the ovation, too! - ATB Sir - Adam"
3 years ago
Nik Eveleigh Guest Editor said "I think the download glitches were very cleverly written - gave me a real sense of confusion and the urge to read it more than once (which I did). Chris has already pointed out my favourite line and I agree that whether this set out as a tribute or not the writing is top quality - and I've enjoyed the AW reading more than my experiences with PKD thus far ;) Excellent stuff. Cheers, Nik"
3 years ago
Nik Eveleigh Guest Editor replied saying "The oddest thing just happened - I got the overwhelming urge to read a book called Ubik by some bloke called Phil. Weird. A collaboration...now there's a thought. I was of a mind fairly recently to write my own follow up to your Sir Lord Colonel...it may still happen you never know...! Have really enjoyed reading the four stories - they stand up individually as well as part of a series and I would gladly read any more that may magically one day appear... ;) Cheers, Nik"
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "I thank you again, Nik and hope one day you find a PKD (try Ubik he whispers subliminally) to suit you - or just give up trying. The inebriated genie is one of the few similes I can actually say hand on heart I feel good about - nice to know you and Chris thought the same (says something doesn't it?) - we ought to do one of those collaboration thingies and have your Rhylus & Co drop in on my cosy twosome on an Alphane moon you reckon? - ATVB - Adam"
3 years ago
This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Cheers Chris for eading and commenting as always - okay then, I'll cue you in on the count of four - one, two, three, four - We are NOT the mutual admiration so-ci-e-ty..."
3 years ago
Tasha Grim said "Dear Adam, I like the idea. It was confusing at first, but at the first mention of "computer talk" I had an idea. (Also, is this a part of a series? I could see a pretty good prequel written about this.) The computer talked in a different tone than what I see in most writing, and I like it. Different time, different style. The character seemed odd at times, like not panicing when he saw himself being born by the waitress. That seems like it would be a big deal. I am absolutely charmed by the "Of course, we are not immortal." Great way to end the story. Cutting of the idea of no death, just prolonging it. Other that being confusing in emotions shown it was a nice peice. Have a nice night! ---Tasha Grim"
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Hi Tasha - yes you are right (and perceptive) to mention a prequel - there are three in fact or should I say Educated Fishwives is the fourth short story I wrote featuring the same two characters who are loosely based on PK Dick's central characters in the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (adapted for the cinema as Blade Runner) - in order they are Do Eros Sevens Dream of Jupiter or Mars - Love on an Alphane Moon - Sex, Life and Death on an Alphane Moon - Educated Fishwives - many thanks for reading and your personal insight - Adam"
3 years ago
Piyali Mukherjee said "I really like the idea of being able to "download" yourself into a human shell (sort of like reincarnation, only managed electronically). As with any download, it could have gone wrong in several ways, and this particular instance was very well depicted. Thank you for this piece! Best, Piyali."
4 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Cheers Piyali for your comments and thanks for reading - the download was a steal from Adam Roberts The Land of the Headless that fitted very nicely into how I wanted to wrap up Rishka and her human's, final story that began with Do Androids Dream Of Jupiter and Mars? ATB - Adam"
4 years ago
Kate Smart Guest Editor said "Interesting stuff, really well-written as ever, nice metallic feel to it. I don't know what Coble cake is but it sounds good. Thanks Adam."
4 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thank you Kate - I'm in a sci-fi or crime rut these days - usually pretty dark. Travel south down the east coast and stop when you get to Staithes and order Coble cake and black coffee but watch out for the seagulls (no sea penguins I'm afraid Ha!) - ATB - hope you will be writing on SBS soon - Adam."
4 years ago
Charlie Wiseman said "Bit of 2001 but more alarming, hope this isn't the way we are going!"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Many thanks as always for reading and commenting, Charlie - we can't cheat the grim reaper but I imagine one day we might be able to at least give him the slip - ATB - Adam. PS - sorry I only just saw your comment."
4 years ago
Richard Ardus said "Hi Adam! I presume Fishwives is a recent story...I'm glad I spotted it today - on a rare visit to the site - I like a tale that needs a bit of unravelling. Best wishes to you!"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Hi Richard - missed your writing and input. I have not written much in the past 10 months or so but I did revive these characters awhile back and followed up with this - thanks as always for reading and unravelling, too - hope to see more from you soon perhaps? ATB - Adam"
5 years ago
Anthony Fieldman said "Wow! This reminded me just how much I've been missing my sci-fi novels of late (halfway through my second trilogy of fantasy at the mo.) I'm with Desmond... if you swap the sixties for the nineties... & fishwives for top heavy, Japenese anime girls!"
5 years ago
Anthony Fieldman replied saying "I haven't heard of those, but will check em out - cheers."
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Tell me you have read Neuromancer, Anthony, or Snowcrash> Sadly I gave up on the former after 100 pages (showing my age and should have read back in 1984 when I was just 21) - I digres - glad it went up your street - sorry it did not include said fantasy figures - cheers and thanks for the thumbs up - Adam."
5 years ago
Desmond Kelly said "Adam, great work. It put me in mind of a couple of Acid trips I had during the sixties. Where is your mind at Man? This was something else. Des"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Why does that not surprise me Des? (Grins) Answers on the back of a pack of Rizlas...thank your Sir - it was short if not too sweet - if you've not read it already try my story Mr. Zimmerman Flies To Buenos Aires (Economy Class) notable for its trippiness...don't often plug my stuff but it is sort of cut from the same vein - ATB - Adam"
5 years ago
This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Christopher - I think I 'over-wrote' the previous installment, Sex, Life & Death on an Alphane Moon and as a knee-jerk reaction perhaps underexplained or expositioned (think I'm making these words as I go along) this one. There are shades of Ubik in this, some of which I best not mention in case anyone reads it and curses me for giving the game away. The idea of downloading all the memory/data etc. from a brain and respositioning it in another body/brain came from Adam Roberts The Land of the Headless where convicted muderers/adulterers and blasphemers can have their death sentence commuted to beheading. I would recommend this book to anyone even those who are not sci-fi fans - it is quite a stretch trying to get your head around (pun intended) the concept of the narrator being minus his head! Thanks again for you comments - ATB - Adam."
5 years ago
This comment has been removed; this user is no longer a member of Shortbread.
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "You must use the knitting simile Jay - love the imagery - you were probably reminded of knitting by the 'fishwives', anyway - thanks as always for commenting and glad it all came together for you - ATB - Adam."
5 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "Darn it Adam, how do you do that. It's not fair - wah wah wah, I would love to write stuff like that. It's mesmerising. I think I'm going to go and sulk in a corner - huff - thanks friend - Diane"
5 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor replied saying "Gee Tanks Diane (it's OK to come out the corner now and stop sucking you thumb) - believe it or not the 'We might be fishwives but...' dialogue was overheard last summer on Staithes harbour outside a cafe eating Coble cake (had to smile) - managed not to LOL or choke on said cake (Google it) - glad you liked it - ATB - Adam"
5 years ago

Read and Download Adult Short Stories

Read Educated Fishwives by Adam West and other Adult short stories at Shortbread!
Also, write short stories, enter short story competitions and listen to audio short stories online for free!