The usual bidders were there, of course: Dame Eleanor in her sensible pantsuit, Miss Hawes and Miss Singh in their black leather jackets, the full brocade skirts of Mrs. Perriwhite. For whatever reason, we women have always made up the majority of phoenix egg collectors, and nowadays we did not have to send male proxies to do our bidding for us; now we could cordially hate each other directly.
There were other women, less serious than we five, and three men in the auction room: the auction house manager, Mr. Samoilenko himself, and John Weadsleigh. John was one of us, and we accorded him the respect of cordially hating him without regard to his gender. Even Miss Hawes, whom I suspect of hating men in general, did John the courtesy of hating him individually, as a competitor for phoenix eggs rather than as a man, which may be the most generous thing I have ever known her to do.
This was not a situation that encouraged generosity.
Find out more about Lakeside, the Jay Lake documentary, here.
Find out more about You Caring’s Sequence a Science Fiction Writer here.