Ian R MacLeod's "Recrossing the Styx" (short story, immortality, free): A machine that forces your partner to love you!
Mostly an average read, but gets more interesting & Kuttnerish near end.
Story summary.Frank Onions is a tour operator aboard Glorious Nomad, a tourist ship currently sailing the Mediterranean. Guests are mostly zombies, rich old men resurrected from dead but still frail, along with their "minders".
Warren & Dottie Hastings are among the guests. Warren is the zombie who was seriously rich when living, & Dottie is his young, beautiful & still loving wife he married just a short while before his death.
As Frank gets attracted to Dottie, he will learn that she cannot love anyone while Warren is around - her mind was "imprinted" by a machine in the marriage deal she cut with Warren before he agreed to marry her.
So we get a murder motive. Together, Frank & Dottie will kill Warren & will happily ever after. Murder goes well, & they live happily ever after too - both of them, but ... here comes a Kuttnerish twist...
Fact sheet.First published: F&SF, May/June 2010.
Download full text from Suvudu Free Library.
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Related: Stories of Ian R MacLeod.