Friday, March 9, 2018

The Emotionless, in Love, by Jason Sanford

★★★★★ Good Characters and Action in a Great Setting

(Post Apocalypse; Blood Grains) Ancient nanotech controls a few humans to enforce harsh anti-technology rules on a reluctant population. Colton escaped its control at the cost of losing all emotion, and he struggles to be accepted by a caravan that’s trying to evade some of the restrictions. (28,352 words; Time: 1h:34m)

This is a sequel to “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories,” and it will help to read that one before this one, but it’s not essential.

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 246, published on .

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

Pro: This is mainly Colton’s story, and it’s about how he struggled to earn his place in the caravan and to get his emotions back. By the end, he’s accomplished everything he set out for, but at the cost of losing Sri Sa.

Sri Sa had her own agenda, mostly involving destroying as many anchors and grains as she needed to in order to gain her freedom. She really does deal them a heavy blow, but loses her life because Colton isn’t willing to let her enslave Ae.

Ae and Vácha have their own agendas, and each succeeds without paying much of a price.
The big losers in this story are the grains, who’ve suffered an enormous defeat. The grains are an excellent example of what an out-of-control AI might really be like. They’re not evil; they’re just doing what they were programmed to do. The fact that their original programmers would probably be horrified doesn’t matter; they're not really intelligent, after all.

Con: Although Colton is supposed to be a psychopath, he comes across as having more than a little empathy.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 246)
Jason Sanford Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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