Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Case of Identity, by Edward M. Lerner

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2015; 7,456 words
Rating: 3, Good, ordinary, story

A quantum AI playing at detective is recruited by a young woman to investigate the disappearance of her fiance.

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

Pro: This story is meant to look like a noir detective story from the 30s or 40s, and it does a decent job of that. It gives us enough hints to figure out that Sherlock was Apple reincarnated: Sherlock came into existence after Apple passed away. Sherlock thinks he can sense Apple's presence. Mary feels Apple's presence when she's talking to Sherlock. The fact that qMinds assemble themselves from things floating around the web. Even the fact that Apple transmitted a great deal of data before dying. The clues were all there.

Also like many of the noir mysteries, in the end we learn that someone is not who he/she seemed to be. In this case, though, it's the investigator himself.

The title refers to the Sherlock Holmes story, A Case of Identity, with which it shares many similarities.

Con: Although we have no idea how a qMind words, unless it violates the speed of light, it isn't likely to be anything like as fast as the narrator makes it out to be. This wouldn't matter except that he ruins the story by stopping every paragraph or two to give us a useless summary of how Sherlock passed the time waiting for the human to reply. This was okay once or twice, but it went on and on and on. Otherwise, this would be four stars.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)