Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Farewell, Adam, by Xiu Xinyu

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Near-Future SF) A team of 100 people link with Adam to make him an online reality star, the best at almost everything. (4,617 words; Time: 15m)

"," by (translated by Blake Stone-Banks, edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 138, published on .

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

Pro: The narrator willingly trades ten years of his life for a big monetary return—not that different from what young people in certain fields do even today. Even so, he still wants to express his individuality (e.g. by not eating eggs), and in the end, he’s the one who causes Adam’s suicide. (And we finally learn what the medications he stopped taking were for.)

Adam has grown tired of his career and he wants to retire and just enjoy life. Once he realizes his body is paralyzed and that he’ll have no life beyond his career, he just wants to die, and the way the algorithm works, it finds the suicidal member of his support team and puts that person in charge.

The broader idea of a network that grew so tight that people started to forget that they were individuals was interesting, and it was fun to see how it played out. I particularly liked the fact that the support team could disconnect and chat as individuals on their breaks.

Con: The ending felt off somehow. Or maybe I just didn't get it.

It was hard to believe that the public would sustain interest in an Adam for year after year, and it was hard to believe that the recruiting people would have accepted a depressed person as one of the support staff. It was also hard to believe that Adam had forgotten that his body was paralyzed.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 138)
Xiu Xinyu Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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