Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Uncanny Valley, by Greg Egan

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Near-Future SF) Adam has 70% of the memories of the man who created him, but something vital is hiding in that missing 30%. (13,237 words; Time: 44m)

Recommended By: GDozois+2 RHorton+1 NClarke+2 JMcGregor+2

"," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), published on by .

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

Pro: The story does a nice job of introducing us to Adam, and he comes across as an awfully nice guy who’s very easy to root for. His steady efforts to find out what Adam Morris was trying to hide make for an interesting tale.

We know that Adam Morris really loved Carlos, partly from the fact that Adam the Android still does, so it makes sense that he tried to suppress the knowledge that Carlos murdered Colman. We know that Carlos thought Adam was too ready to let people cheat him, so it makes more sense that Carlos did it, once we think about it.

The ending is satisfying. Adam and Carlos put so much effort into trying to save Carlos’s sister that it feels very right that the bulk of the money went to the hospital that cared for her. And it’s good that Adam sets off on his own as well.

On a technical note, narration and dialogue are flawless.

Con: There’s no emotional content to the story. The end is satisfying, but not uplifting. There are a lot of dead people in this story, but we don’t mourn for any of them.

Adam comes across as being a very young man with a young man’s uncertainty, but he ought to be a copy of old Adam, with the confidence of years of experience.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 08/09/17)
Greg Egan Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I kept thinking--why would old Adam have created new Adam? Why would anyone? He's like a walking diary and instant adult child in one, but he's not Adam himself. I guess that's why it's not as touching -- because you know this is just a copy of the person who actually loved Carlos, shared his life (for better and for worse), and mourned him.