Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Sword of Damocles, by Norman Spinrad

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(Epic SF) The Galactic Eye has found hundreds of alien races, but, so far, humanity has done nothing but count them. That’s about to change. (10,066 words; Time: 33m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"The Sword of Damocles," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 09-10|17, published on by .

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

Pro: There’s a lot of material here for a good story: a distant base with little accountability monitoring all these races, modified humans given no ability to reproduce and no home other than the base, and the aliens themselves.

Con: Why did no one ever try to communicate with the aliens? Given that others have their own Galactic Eyes, there’s no way to keep our existence a secret, so why no attempt at messages? Why does no one in the story ever even suggest the idea?

The “revelation” that information about the other civilizations is time-lagged isn’t much of a revelation at all, nor does it make much difference, given how old the other races would need to be.

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Norman Spinrad Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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