Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Universal Museum of Sagacity, by Robert Reed

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(SF) In 2040, Colin gets more than he bargained for when he asks the AIs at tech giant PinPoint to track down information about a mysterious great aunt who vanished in 1965. (8,700 words; Time: 29m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: SFRevu:4 GDozois:4 RHorton:4

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 116, published on .

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

Pro: The conclusion is quite a surprise. Colin succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, and yet Maddy, when he finds her, is a disappointment; it was the mystery he was after, not the lady.

The descriptions of the future AIs, the people who use them, and the company that employs them all felt very real. PinPoint is practical, not evil. Their top people are arrogant, but not evil. The AIs are useful, but they serve people mindlessly with no agenda of their own.

Con: It feels a bit too long for its content. In particular, it goes on for a very long time before the action really gets started, when the Sagacities meet Colin to tell him they've found Maddy.

At the end, it's a little hard to believe that Colin outsmarted all the of Sagacities. The lack of any evidence of her art should have been a big anomaly.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 116)
Robert Reed Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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