The new issue of New Scientist's Arc Magazine is out, subtitled "Post Human Conditions." And it includes brand new science fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Nick Harkaway. VanderMeer's story is called "Komodo" and it starts with a dying woman talking to a young child.
Here's the actual beginning, via VanderMeer's site:
Child, standing there in your flower dress considering me with those wide dark eyes while the mariachi band plays out in the courtyard…I'm going to tell you a story. It doesn't matter if you can't understand me-they can, and they need to trust me, need to know I'm telling them this for a reason. But I need you, too, because every tale requires an audience, and you're mine. So I hope you'll stay awhile. It won't take long. I don't have long, anyway.
It starts in a strange place, I'll admit, inside of a giant green plastic alien head. I was all dressed up. I was on my way to a party. Let's say the party celebrated something like the Day of the Dead, and that I was in a hurry to get there not even because of looking forward to the party but to the after party. The after party is always where it's at-if you can get an invite.