Saturday, November 19, 2016

Prodigal, by Gord Sellar

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(Near-Future SF) Benji was an ordinary terrier until his master decided to have him sentientized. (9,628 words; Time: 32m)

Rating: ★★★★★ Moving, thought-provoking exploration of animal uplift.
Recommended By: SFRevu:4 GDozois:5 RHorton:4 NClarke

"Prodigal," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 12|16, published on by .

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

Pro: The surface story is fine; Benji discovers he's a second-class citizen, rebels, and loses his family over it. But as a metaphor for losing a loved one to a cause, it's dynamite.

We sympathize both with the narrator and with Benji. The narrator and his family really loved Benji, and, for a while, at least, he loved them too. We feel their pain at losing him and watching his love turn to hatred.

But Benji is in a worse position than any slave ever was. He may be mentally uplifted, but physically, he and others like him will always be at a serious disadvantage. Add to that a society that still puts down stray dogs, uplifted or not, and Benji has good reason to be angry.

Con: The visit from the police dogs was hard to take seriously.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 12|16)
Gord Sellar Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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