Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ossuary, by Ian Muneshwar

Clarkesworld Magazine, May 2015; 2,570 words
Rating: 2, Not recommended

An AI in charge of an interstellar junk yard dreams of better things.

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

This is a "fantasy AI" story (the AI has feelings and acts like a person), and it's always hard to suspend disbelief for those. For example, the AI thinks "It seemed unreasonable to take it apart," and then does something contrary to its programming. But we already knew it had programming to separate salvageable from unsalvageable materials, so this should either be already programmed or else should be entirely impossible to conceive of. (It had no connections to the outside world--where would it have got the idea from.) This sort of thing happens in almost every paragraph.

When the alien arrives, the AI magically turns itself back on and is magically able to communicate with it. Then it tries to resurrect it by implanting its own CPU in it. Again, it defies belief that it either had any programming to do such a thing (it's a junkyard curator, not a doctor), nor that the result would be viable for very long.

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