"Goddesses" by Linda Nagata: An Appreciation by Pete Tillman
Cody Graham is a founder of Green Stomp, a bioremediation firm with a new microbe that eats perchloroethylene ("perk") dry-cleaning fluid, a common pollutant. Cody's a scholarship kid, up from an industrial slum in California. She's smart, successful--and lonely.
This is a profoundly hopeful near-future love-story--hopeful that technology can improve poor peoples' lives, and enrich the rich helpers' lives in the process. Nagata writes with assurance and grace, touching on wealth & poverty, women & men, love, charity, religion and how we'll live a few years from now--all without being preachy or dull. One of that year's best, and a Nebula award-winner. Not to be missed.
Link to story.
(This review first appeared, in a slightly different version, at SF Site: Link)