Saturday, September 3, 2016

Cupid's Compass, by Leah Cypess

(Near-Future SF) Julie had reservations about using hardware that can make people fall in love, but at age 35, she let herself get talked into it. (2,967 words; Time: 09m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"Cupid's Compass," by , appeared in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction issue 09-10|16, published on by

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

Pro: There's a lot of humor in this story, such as when Larissa says, "we discourage the use of the word 'zapped,'" immediately after a scene where Julie merely thinks it.

The story raises serious questions about whether it matters if love is natural as long as it's real. We're bothered by the way Steve uses Cupid's Compass obsessively, but to his credit, he recognizes his deficiencies in that area and is anxious to fix them. In the end it's Julie who comes across seeming selfish. The "Artemis's Arrow" program seems tailor-made for her.

Con: One gets very tired of Julie after a while. Maybe she really doesn't believe anything is real if it doesn't hurt, but that doesn't make it fun to read about. It's a bit of a surprise that this treatment has so few side-effects.

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