Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Interchange, by Gary Kloster

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(Near-Future SF) Inside a reverse stasis bubble, a work crew can take six months to build a new interchange while no time passes outside. No one’s quite sure what can happen if something goes wrong, though. (11,954 words; Time: 39m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 124, published on .

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

Pro: The mystery of wondering what really happened and what’s waiting outside gives this one a good bit of tension, as does the fear that Russ will do something stupid. The reverse stasis bubble is a neat idea, and it makes a nice metaphor for remote work camps in the real world, where people work in isolation for months at a time.

Lucy’s plot line is simple and sad; she just wants to be happy again. Her robot is modeled after her dead husband entirely because she wants things to be as they were when she was happy. Whatever the nanobots are doing to people, they seem to be making them calmer. It’s not a surprise that she decides to make this available to the rest of humanity.

Con: As soon as the first snake turns up, I would expect them to drop the bubble at once and find out what era they’re actually in. From Russ’s explanation, there appeared to be zero chance that they were still in the same time they’d started from. In other words, they’re from the past; the world of the snakes is now the present (or, if they skipped multiple times, the past as well).

The claim that the medical stasis fields only had an 80% survival rate and a 40% undamaged-survival rate made it impossible to believe that they had them at all. Also, in light of how well the reverse stasis bubble worked, it’s hard to believe the medical stasis fields were so poor. In light of that, it’s really hard to believe that the crew would agree to subject themselves to it at the end.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 124)
Gary Kloster Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB

2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This was a bit odd, not fully baked IMO. It had a reasonable amount of time to develop the characters but Russ was just an asshole for no established reason from the start and stayed like that, and the main character was just edging around a "big reveal" that wasn't really that big in the end.

  2. I felt like there were some clever ideas here that didn't quite come together.