Monday, September 7, 2015

Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World, by Caroline M. Yoachim

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(Fantasy Science) Young scientist trying to develop time travel encounters an alien intelligence that lives outside of time. (6,200 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement
Recommended By: NClarke

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 64, published on .

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

Extremely unnatural dialog, info dumps, lots of telling vs. showing.

For anyone who knows science at all, the scenario that a young scientist could do big physics research despite having no results is just not credible. Or that she'd be working all alone. The side story about a woman's mind being removed from her body and then returned is also very far removed from real science. Of course the story doesn't have to be hard science, but when the protagonist is supposed to be an academic scientist, that's what we'd expect. Instead, this is written by someone for whom there is no difference between science and magic.

As the story progresses, the departure from science as we know it into outright magic is relentless. For example, at one point the protagonist changes the orbit of a moon in order to win a game. Two AIs give birth to a "child." The protagonist, now a god, creates a world in the image of Earth. At least no one is named Adam or Eve.

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Caroline M. Yoachim Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I can see why you gave it a 1 rating.

    It does need more polish on the writing within the segments of the story, and more work on the writing to join the segments together, but it did tie together well enough to form a readable story.

    The ideas were good but maybe it would have worked better as a novella, and keeping the focus on just one or a few of the ideas.