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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Hunter Program  
  Searching for occupied dwellings by monitoring electric power usage.  

She frowned. "Conversation with you certainly has a lot of punctuation. Forget I asked." She looked around again. "Who pays the utilities? Since you don't exist, I mean."
"Nobody."
"What do I look like, an idiot? That's a full-service phone over there, and two powered chairs, and your tape console computer alone must draw . . . not to mention that computer in the bedroom, and lights and climate and—don't tell me. There's an inconspicuous solar collector on top of the abandoned warehouse, no bigger than Washington Square."
I smiled. "I misspoke myself. I should have said 'everybody.' I get my power and phone from the same place you do—I just don't pay for it."
"But they've got hunter programs monitoring for unmetered drain—"
"Programs written and administered by corruptible, fallible human beings. Whoever built this place built it well. I never get a bill."
From Mindkiller, by Spider Robinson.
Published by Holt, Rhinehart and Winston in 1982
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