Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Adjunct Professor's Guide to Life After Death

Asimov's Science Fiction, October/November 2015; 7,013 words
Rating: 4, Recommended  Recommended By: io9

Ghost of an adjunct professor haunting her department is inundated by victims of a campus shooting.

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

The undergraduate ghosts manage to cause Lea to grow. Brian makes her want to do things. Together they actually bring peace to Michael McLuckie--not by forgiving him, but by feeling compassion for him despite what he did. Now they're ready for an adventure together, and they've earned it.

The endless bickering about the sad and underpaid life of an adjunct gets old after a while. Maybe that's part of the concept--just like Michael's crying got old--but it makes the lead a bit less sympathetic.

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. It is a very good story. I agree with the rating.

    I think the "underpaid teacher" bit was part of the concept of the story, a big part of it imo.

    1. I think there's also a strong theme that ghosts do the same, pointless, things over and over. That's why it's a victory to leave the building at the end.