Saturday, September 5, 2015

Duller's Peace, by Jason Sanford

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A young girl lives with her grandfather in a near-future totalitarian south-east Asian country whose rulers use an airborne nanotechnology to track everyone's thoughts. (6,117 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: SFRevu:4

"," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 09|15, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Very well-written. Serija's struggle to fool the motes feels very real. Even the way the AI learned which people needed attention rather than being all-powerful was excellent. Apparently there really are some people writing about AI in SF who know a little about it.

The bitter ending is very appropriate; without a high price, the story wouldn't satisfy.

Con: It's hard to see why the government didn't execute the grandfather a long time ago, though. And the scheme that ultimately succeeds seems pretty implausible as well. The characters don't really come to life for us; when they die, we don't shed a tear for them. At most, we're relieved at the end of their pain.

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