Friday, September 8, 2017

Evil Opposite, by Naomi Kritzer

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(SF Multiverse) A Ph.D. student focusing on alternate universes builds a machine that lets him look at lives he might have lived. (4,894 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"Evil Opposite," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 09-10|17, published on by .

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

Pro: As the story opens, the narrator is an unhappy student who doesn’t really fit. Inventing the spyglass doesn’t help him the way he thinks it will, but looking at those alternate worlds eventually shows him what really was important and what was not.

At the end, he gets rid of it and moves on. Taking the tool kit and leaving the spyglass is very symbolic, in that he’s keeping what he’s good at and walking away from what he’s not.

Con: The more we learn about the narrator, the less we like him. Toward the end, it’s not even clear that he’s a better person than Shane.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Mildly entertaining. But the lesson of not getting hung up in "what might have been" is so basic that it doesn't really make that compelling of a story. No need of a fancy spyglass to figure this out.