“Ass-Hat Magic Spider” by Scott Westerfeld
This story comes from the anthology “The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows” edited by Jonathan Strahan.
What is most valuable? If you had to leave and could only take a certain amount of weight with you to start your life over again, what would it be? This is a story about what a boy cherishes and what he would do to keep what is important to him.
The boy's family applied and was accepted to fly through space to a planet called Tau. They are among the colonists to build a civilization and start over. It will take them 2 years to get due to fuel needs, each person can only bring a specified amount of weight.
The boy wants to bring along what he calls Charlotte. Problem is Charlotte is putting him over his specified weight. So he ends up working out to burn weight off, doesn't drink water to dehydrate himself, and doesn't eat so he won't gain weight. Anything he can to bring along Charlotte.
I like the writing style of Scott Westerfeld. It's very readable. I honestly didn't expect the ending that came with this story either. It was a cute way of bringing together the old and the new. That will make more sense after reading the story. A very clever idea for a story about the future to boot.
The ending was cute. The story ended with a warm and fuzzy feeling that just made you want to go and pick up that thing you had from childhood and think back to all the memories you had with it.