He glances up and grabs a pigeon, crops the shot, and squirts it at his weblog to show he's arrived.

The bandwidth is good here, he realizes; and it's not just the bandwidth, it's the whole scene.

Or they did – but then they changed their mind and broke up with you. Well, it is theoretically possible – but how many times has it happened to you? You’re allowed to feel bad about it, and grieve your loss. If you don’t believe me, bookmark this article and read it again in 3 months.

After he left, I’ve been trying really hard to move on.

A novel by Charles Stross Copyright © Charles Stross, 2005 Published by Ace Books, New York, July 2005, ISBN 0441012841 Orbit Books, London, August 2005, ISBN 1841493902 Copyright © Charles Stross, 2005.

The person who rejected you has a mind of their own, and you can’t change it by force. They are exercising their free will, and unless they choose you, you’ll have to walk away.

That will only prolong your agony, not make it go away.

Amsterdam is making him feel wanted already, even though he's fresh off the train from Schiphol: He's infected with the dynamic optimism of another time zone, another city.

If the mood holds, someone out there is going to become very rich indeed. * * * Manfred sits on a stool out in the car park at the Brouwerij 't IJ, watching the articulated buses go by and drinking a third of a liter of lip-curlingly sour .

His channels are jabbering away in a corner of his head-up display, throwing compressed infobursts of filtered press releases at him.

They compete for his attention, bickering and rudely waving in front of the scenery.

He said I was everything he was looking for, and he wanted me to go with him to this new country.