Monday, July 3, 2017

The Law of Conservation of Data, by John Grant

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(Far-Future SF) Five sex partners decide to explore the remains of a casino that was pushed into a black hole an eon ago. (9,847 words; Time: 32m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 86, published on .

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

Pro: The plot is that the narrator and his friends decide to explore the Slots Palace, and, in the process, he finds a new meaning to existence. The story depicts a future that’s very alien indeed.

Con: The vast bulk of the story is devoted to showing how alien this future is, but It’s very hard to believe in this future, which seems to be mostly about having sex. It gets old fast, and it’s quite a slog to finish reading the story, although it does perk up at the end.

The story is full of loose ends. None of the characters in the 5-way really matters much. For example, much is made of Arnie’s inability to take a body, but it never amounts to anything.

The science is really, really wrong. Time doesn’t stop at the event horizon of a black hole; that's an optical illusion. It only seems to because the photons take forever to get out. Even if it did, people would be frozen. They wouldn’t be going about their lives experiencing time but not aging.

It never makes sense that people can’t just make copies of themselves. Why can’t Arnie put his blance into a body? Everyone else does. Why can’t the narrator send a copy of his blance into the black hole rather than risking losing himself there?

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Yes, everyone we saw in this theoretically idyllic future is depressingly shallow. Which seemed to be part of the point since one of them was literally somehow physically two-dimensional for a bit. So to really learn how to experience something, he's physically putting himself in perpetual Vegas??? I have to agree with Mana...sounds like the gateway to hell!

    1. You know, I think there was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that was a bit like that. The Eternal Vegas part, that is--not the sex part!