: Michael Blumlein
: 19th Annual Year's Best Science Fiction
: Gardner Dozois
: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
: 2001 by Spilogale, Inc.
A short story. About a worm.
This worm is, of course, no ordinary worm. This worm has a human brain grafted onto itself, through scientific processes that don't, like most science fiction, really need explaining. The story details the worm's (he chooses the name 'Adam') life of higher-thinking, from "Am Adam. At last can talk. Grand Day!" to "Some say we are overly diffident, that we shy from the spotlight, squirm, as it were, from the light of day." Adam explores abstract thinking, poetry, love, and the letter U. Along the way he has many conversations with a female scientist who is running the thinking worm experiment. Eventually, after much existentialism, something in the experiment goes horribly wrong and Adam's brain has to be grafted onto another animal to survive.
This story is pretty good. You start to care about Adam and his mental adventures; not to mention his incessant word play. Plus, it adresses an imporant point: Humans do the things they do, because they can.
Adam can adapt.