Friday, June 2, 2017

Marcel Proust, Incorporated, by Scott Dalrymple

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(Near-Future SF) Users who stop taking a memory enhancement drug end up losing everything they learned on it, making it possible for banks to repossess someone’s education. (4,117 words; Time: 13m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 85, published on .

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

Pro: The memory-enhancement drug is an interesting idea.

Con: The story defies suspension of disbelief at every turn. EvilCorp is the cardboard villain, easily pushing EvilGov aside. No company would ever get a 200-year patent. No giant company would be invisible to the public—especially with an accomplishment like Proust. Killing all the scientists who made the drug wouldn’t accomplish much; what one person can invent, another can do as well. (Knowing it’s possible is the key, and the patent filings would be filled with useful clues.) Finally, the idea that liberal-arts disciplines would end up benefiting because “their primary skill was critical thinking” not memorization makes the whole thing sound like a wish-fulfillment fantasy.

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Scott Dalrymple Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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