Saturday, December 3, 2016

Neural Alchemist, by Tedd Roberts

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(Zombie) Ever since he became a zombie, Professor Wissen has felt unwanted by the university, although some of his students think it's kind of cool. (6,302 words; Time: 21m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Unique hard-SF take on zombies

"Neural Alchemist," by (edited by Michael Brotherton), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Pro: There's something deliciously on the boundary between hilarious and horrifying in the slow, methodical, scientific way that Dr. Wissen goes about studying his condition. There are plenty of hints that the final step in the progression is something horrible, and that adds quite a bit of tension as we wait to see what will happen to Dr. Wissen at the end.

The science is about as plausible as it can be, given that we're talking zombies here. More important is that the entire approach is scientific--complete to the problems that scientists have with administration, students, staff, and the public.

The final, one-sentence paragraph adds just the right punch.

Con: Dr. Wissen is the only character who's actually developed in the story, and even so, we're not sorry for him when he dies, nor do we feel he's making a big noble sacrifice.

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