Sunday, December 13, 2015

Saving the World, by James Gunn

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(SF) The narrator, a brain researcher, explores a theory that science fiction texts can be used to cause test subjects to think more rationally. (2,361 words; Time: 07m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆, Needs Improvement

"Saving the World," by , appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact issue 01-02|16, published on by .

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

Not really a story. We get a description of some experiments, then a narration of what happened afterwards.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Hi, Greg!

    I just found this website. Your reviews are terrific--your Pros & Cons lists really get specific about things I agree with, but couldn't specify on my own.

    I liked this particular story a lot more than you did. I would have given it a 3--I love the idea of genre sentences & training the brain with sf, and I like the way it harks back to golden age optimism. I think the story engine is plenty strong enough to power a piece this short.

  2. Welcome, and thanks for the kind words!

    My biggest problem with "Saving the World" starts with "Kristen was too old . . ." From that point on, it's just an outline for a story--not an actual story. I agree entirely that the concept is strong enough to power a story. I just think the author failed to make it work.

    Clearly, though, it did work for you, which just shows that there isn't a universal yardstick for "good" and "bad" when it comes to stories.