Monday, December 7, 2015

The Falls: A Luna Story, by Ian Mcdonald

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(Hard SF; Luna) Interspersed with the narrator's account of her work on an intelligent AI for a Saturn mission, she describes how her daughter fell three kilometers on the moon. (6,800 words; Time: 22m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: GDozois:5

"The Falls: A Luna Story," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: Shahina's fall symbolizes both how she has grown away from her mother and how much the lunar society has grown away from the Earth. The writing is clean at all points in the story.

The account of Shahina's fall is quite dramatic. The description of the Saturn probe is of interest as well, and the argument for putting emotions into an AI isn't completely crazy.

Con: Not crazy, but still a dumb idea. The narrator has been at pains to remind us how people on the moon only do things when there's money in it, but her best argument for putting emotions into an AI is "why not?" The narrator clearly believes that her AIs are "people," but, in that case, how can she justify sending one off to Saturn to die alone? Giving it emotions so it can suffer?

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com
Ian McDonald Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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