Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Need for Air, by Lettie Prell

★★★☆☆ Average

(Virtual Reality) Lake really wants her little son to enjoy virtual reality. Sometimes it seems like he loves it, but he keeps dropping out when he’s not supposed to, and he’s hard to keep track of. (6,075 words; Time: 20m)

"," by (edited by Diana Pho), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.371 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: In the end, this is the story of how Lake let go of her son, her last real attachment to the physical world, so she could become an “instantiated” person (fully virtual) instead of a “sequestered” one (still with a physical body).

There are plenty of hints that a) she loves it there and b) Jared hates it. The conclusion isn’t a big surprise, although the suddenness of it is. We feel a pang of regret over the fact that she clearly doesn’t feel a lot of regret.

Con: It’s very hard to believe that a person’s parental rights could be terminated so easily and with so little consideration.

It’s hard to like a protagonist who’s so eager to dump her son.

A minor point: the notion that simulated life inside a machine would go much faster than real life is seriously misguided. However, even if we granted it for the purposes of the story, Lake and Jared should have been unable to play with the Muslim family on the beach.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 06/27/18)
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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Word count I get for this was short story length at 6074 words.

    1. Huh. I get 6075 now. Wonder what happened. I'll add it to the fix list.