Friday, September 7, 2018

Cost of Doing Business, by Nancy Kress

★★★☆☆ Mixed

(Climate SF) A journalist takes a job covering a multibillionaire’s efforts to stop climate change—and to figure out what his real motive might be. (12,347 words; Time: 41m)

This was originally printed in “A Year without a Winter,” (Columbia University Press, May 22, 2018), but it’s still eligible for the 2019 Hugo Award.

"Cost of Doing Business," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 05-06|18, published on by .

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

Review: 2018.489 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The mission is accomplished. The US abandons fossil fuels. And Kayla figures out Sullivan’s dark secret.

The various details about technologies to replace fossil fuels are mostly spot-on. (I’d argue that home solar can’t compete with grid solar, but that’s a nit.)

Con: To enjoy this story, you need to believe that the fossil fuel companies have an absolute lock on politics that renewable energy will never be cost-effective on its own, and that one private fortune would be enough to completely buy (vs. influence) an election. Since I don’t believe any of that, I didn’t much care for this story.

Even if you do, there’s little or no action in the story—at least, not action that Kayla has anything to do with. It’s pretty much just chronicling what happened.

Oh and it’s extremely obvious that James created the virus. It was way too convenient.

The time scale is a little messed up. Kayla’s grandmother lived through WWII and the Great Depression, but Kayla isn’t an old woman, so it’s hard to see how the story could be set much later than 2030. But to have 3 degrees of warming, it would need to be 2090, even in a "burn everything" scenario.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05-06|18)
Nancy Kress Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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