Saturday, November 3, 2018

Kindred, by Peter Watts

[Anthology]
★★★★☆ Haunting

(Post-Human Horror) In which a man from our time wakes somewhere in the far future and listens to an entity that controls the solar system yet wants something from him. (3,837 words; Time: 12m)

Recommended By: 👍RHorton.r+2 👍RSR+1 (Q&A)


"Kindred," by (edited by Jonathan Strahan), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.622 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: “Phil” is Philip K. Dick, and “Palmer” is named after the protagonist of “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.”

It’s a clever touch that we never hear Phil speak; all we hear are the entity’s words, even though we can usually guess what Phil must have said to it.

Through this one-sided dialogue we gradually realize just what sort of things have happened. It’s been about four billion years since Dick was alive. The entity was originally created by people, and it eventually decided that sterilizing the Earth—killing all life—was the right thing to do because it was designed to minimize human suffering.

Given the entity's fatalistic view of things, it's no surprise that it has decided to surrender to Palmer. It's certainly hard to mourn it, and yet it's hard not to, since it's all that was left of humanity.

Con: It's profoundly depressing, and there's hardly a glimmer of hope in it. Very well done, but still a total downer.

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Peter Watts Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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