Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Paradise Regained, by Edward M. Lerner

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(Colony-Planet SF) An ignorant young man and a stranded space ship race against time to find a way to fix the problems that make the human colony unsuccessful. (5,556 words; Time: 18m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"Paradise Regained," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 01-02|17, published on by .

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

Pro: The young man and the AI succeed. Humanity will have a future on Paradise. Ironically, the choice of the colonists to change people to do less harm to the ecosystem is almost certainly going to result in them doing far more harm in the end. For an advanced civilization can afford less-damaging technologies, but a population that’s building a civilization from scratch will be far less gentle.

The AI is very well described. “Ship only reacts. It talks smart, but in a way, even a mouse is smarter.”

Con: The setup is so complex it challenges disbelief. Humans imposed this genetic restriction on themselves, and it worked 100% effectively, but humans never quite died out—just hung in there for centuries. Likewise, Ship hung in there for centuries, never solving the problem until the very last minute.

The narrator doesn’t really contribute much of anything to the success, other than giving an order at the end that should have been unnecessary.

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