Tuesday, March 8, 2016

RedKing, by Craig DeLancey

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(Hard SF) In an near future when everyone has brain implants, a computer virus can be a health issue. Especially when it turns users into killers. (6,192 words; Time: 20m)

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

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 70, published on .

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

Pro: Very nice police procedural. The story is very realistic in terms of computer software. And it's a nice twist that the criminal confesses rather than let someone else get the credit.

Con: There's nothing in particular wrong with the story, but there's nothing exceptional about it either. The plot is simple and straightforward, and the story doesn't engage our emotions at all.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 70)
Craig Delancey Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I had pretty much the same reaction. I thought the "unreliable narrator" sequence where the code monkey was under the influence of RedKing was particularly well-done. However, I can't see this story sticking with me for long.

  2. I agree with RSR's ★★★ rating. It was a fun and exciting read and would have been ★★★★ about 20 years ago when hackers sought fame. Today they seek fortune by selling these security vulnerabilities for five- and six-figure bounties, hence the end of viruses that shout they've wiped your data. Today it's ransomware that encrypt your data and rootkits that silently enslave your machine to botnets which sell your computing resources to the highest bidder (the dark web had on-demand cloud computing through botnets before Amazon, Microsoft and Google offered cloud computing through web services).