Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Significance of Significance, by Robert Reed

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(SF) A young woman reacts to the news that our universe is just a simulation by making wild choices that her family has to deal with. (5,330 words; Time: 17m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

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

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

Pro: It’s an interesting exploration of how different people would react to such unsettling news.

Con: Nothing of interest is done with the idea itself. It’s all about the people who’re affected by Sarah’s decision to have (and then dump) a baby. One could have had the same effect in a mainstream story where Sarah simply came to believe the universe was a simulation.

There’s no protagonist and no plot. The focus character, Sarah, has no goals and is completely unlikable.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Very philosophical! An interesting look at how different beliefs can put people in different "universes" from each other.

  2. A rather simple analysis. The fact that Sarah was pregnant in itself created a universe within a universe and the parallel is much more interesting than if she had just 'had a thought' In addition, her unconventional view of Motherhood as a young nisve girl where it is a curiosity and objective spectacle also parallel the society she lives in and her change as an older mother... I mean, if you dissmiss this aspect of the story telling then it's understandable that you didn't find it that interesting!

    1. My comment was in regard to Greg Hullenders 'pros and cons' remark.

    2. I'm glad you found something to like about the story, but I'm still not seeing what you're seeing. Reed is a great writer, but he writes an awful lot of stuff. It can't all be good nor appeal to all people.

      Generally, if I dislike the protagonist I'm not going to explore the story in depth. Once I've explained why I didn't like a story, it feels like I'm piling on if I go on and on about why it was so bad. These are called "mini-reviews" because they're intended to be the starting point for discussions about the stories. I don't pretend that they represent the absolute, complete truth. :-)