Friday, October 9, 2015

Pareidolia, by Kathleen Bartholomew and Kage Baker

Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2015; ~10,900 words
Rating: 3, Good, ordinary, story

Josephus fixes problems for a 23rd-century company that uses time-travel to extract valuable artifacts from ancient times. Mostly light-hearted and fun.

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

Pro: Time travel as a big business. A cute theme is that corporations (and management) have similar problems in any age. Very interesting angle with the icons that are so perfect they cause the viewer to go insane. All the narrative and dialogue is well-written.

Con: There's a huge amount of material here given that the actual story is limited to a single day in Constantinople. It's never clear why his teaching the Egyptians how to draw resulted in Nikephorus producing lethal paintings. For all of that build up, the solution to the problem is a fizzle. The operative meets no serious resistance and has no serious problems.

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. An average good story, it’s a bit light hearted tone so it helps not having to take the story too seriously. But for me the strangest thing is on the premise of the story, I would think a literally immortal being, cybernetically enhanced and having lived over 20,000 years would be much wiser and not be interested on such petty things like working for a raiding corp and stealing treasures from the past :)