Monday, December 5, 2016

Checkerboard Planet, by Eleanor Arnason

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(SF; Lydia Duluth) The AIs contract Lydia to check out an unusual planet and the secretive corporation that's supposed to be developing it. (11,916 words; Time: 39m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement
Recommended By: SFRevu:4 GDozois:5

This is one of a series of stories about Lydia Duluth, and it suffers from lack of context.
"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 123, published on .

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

The story is told in infodumps and as-you-know-Bob dialogue. Much of the legitimate dialogue is extremely unnatural. For example, when Lydia goes to meet the captain in her office, the captain says, "I am Captain Luna City. You are Lee Fargo, a visual reporter working for the home office."

The plot leaves a lot to be desired too. Why can't the AIs just audit Bio-In? Why do the Bio-In security people spend so much time talking to Lydia after they've decided to kill her? How can the captain imagine that she has the authority to kill people anyway? And it's annoying that Lydia's AI implant is pretty much a Mary-Sue device.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 123)
Eleanor Arnason Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

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