Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Ganymede Gambit: Jan’s Story, by James Gunn

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(Space Opera; Transcendental) Jan and his siblings work on a secret base near Jupiter, where they plan to attempt to terraform Ganymede. (5,773 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

"The Ganymede Gambit: Jan’s Story," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 09-10|17, published on by .

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

Pro: The concept of a team of trained clones dedicated to a task is interesting.

Con: The narration is intrusive, and the dialogue is unnatural (much of it as-you-know-Bob dialogue). Also, there's no plot to speak of; the team simply does as they're told, as we learn about the results.

The science is pretty bad. Just a few examples: a cell that divides 9 times will produce 512 cells, not 9. Even if it were like a sausage that you could cut nine times, that would still produce ten, not nine. The idea of finding bacteria and giving it “awareness, a purpose” is nuts. It makes no sense that the protective shell they’ve created around Ganymede might someday evolve into a competitor to humanity. (It’s also not gravitationally stable.) The idea that the bacteria could infect humans at all is silly, but the notion that it turned the infected individuals into supercomputers is ridiculous.

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James Gunn Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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