Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Variations on an Apple, by Yoon Ha Lee, October 14, 2015; 5,045 words
Rating: 2, Not recommended  Recommended By: io9 Locus

Surreal science fantasy, in which three goddesses come to Paris, prince of a mathematical Troy, and ask him to decide to whom to award an apple.

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

Pro: The wordplay and allusions are fantastic. For example, in computer software, a "memetic attack" is also known as a "trojan horse." If you know the story of Troy plus some modern math and computer science, there's a lot of material to enjoy here.

Con: There's no story. Okay, Paris makes a surprise decision, there's a war anyway, and Helen kills him. So what? Helen chose to be the smartest, not the most beautiful, apparently. Again, so what?

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. It is an intriguing take on the story of Troy. Different decisions are made with no real change to the long-term outcome, with the exception of Helen's. It was worth reading to the end just to see this.

    However, I did enjoy this science fantasy version of the story of Troy. I have read several different versions of the story of Troy over the years, each with its own take and angle, and have enjoyed all of them.

    I'd rate this a 3 or 4, but with a caveat that you sort of need to be a Greek mythology fan or a maths fan for the 4.