Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Bridgegroom, by Bo Balder

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(Post-Apocalypse) Alois wants to go back to the university—not spend the rest of his life guarding an old bridge. Even if it does talk to him about the world before the collapse. (9,047 words; Time: 30m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Fascinating and Ultimately Chilling

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 130, published on .

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

Pro: the plot is clean and simple: Alois wants to escape, his desire is strong, and by gosh, he manages to do it.

We really like Alois. As the bridge says, he’s a good person. We’re very uneasy about him setting the giant robot free, but we don’t blame him, and it’s a victory when he does.

Con: You have to swallow the what-if to like this story, and that’s a big ask. Why didn’t the ancients just destroy the robot? Why did they leave a switch to reactive it? Why sentence grooms to isolation? Wouldn’t that guarantee that someone would find common cause with the bridge? Shouldn't there be reports? etc.

Clarkesworld did a poor job of editing this one. There are lots of textual errors.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 130)
Bo Balder Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. It's curious that the whole arrangement feels like a test to find a bridgegroom worthy of setting the Bridge free.

    1. I didn't think of it from that angle, but I like it!