Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Memorybox Vultures, by Brian Trent

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(SF Thriller) Donna creates and works with AIs that are created from dead people’s social media data. They can be fun to chat with before they get too repetitive, but they’re harmless. So why is someone trying to kill them? And her. (7,076 words; Time: 23m)

"The Memorybox Vultures," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 09-10|18, published on by .

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

Review: 2018.478 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Donna’s determination to do the right thing is admirable, and it’s great to see her stand up to the corrupt, psychopathic Governor Grenier.

Brent and the quasints have the objective of eliminating the governor, and boy do they manage it!

The twist at the end when we learn that Donna’s Thanksgivings are spent with quasints of her parents is touching and bittersweet.

Con: If the quasints are really emergent intelligences, then they shouldn’t have conversation problems like repeating themselves over and over. They should be anything but predictable.

Donna doesn’t have a lot of agency in this story; she’s mostly just a pawn and a witness to the quasint’s executing their plan.

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