Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Singularity Is in Your Hair, by Matthew Kressel

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(Cyber SF) Stricken with muscular dystrophy, the teenage narrator lives almost entirely in VR, where she hopes a rogue AI can save her. (2,773 words; Time: 09m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Clever use of VR and AI

"The Singularity Is in Your Hair," by (edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: The story turns on the shocking revelation that Ashey isn't an AI at all--just a conman who's taking advantage of the narrator's desperation. All the great things the narrator is creating for Ashey are benefiting a person, not an AI that's eventually going to save her. The narrator knows this now, even though she's not ready to admit it, and so the story concludes.

The little reminders of the narrator's humanity scattered through the story (e.g. "Mom's gotta change my diaper") keep us aware of her terrible situation, and her bravery through it all is heartbreaking. Especially when we see how her one source of hope has evaporated.

Con: Although we're shocked at the narrator's betrayal, somehow we don't have a deep emotional connection to her. The ending is shocking, but not shattering.

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