Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Escape From Caring Seasons, by Sarah Pinsker

★★★★★ Who Knew a Slow-Motion Chase Could Be So Exciting?

(SF Thriller) Zora and Anya hoped to spend their golden years in an assisted living facility they helped design. But now it’s under new management, which is keeping Anya in the hospital, so Zora decides to break her out. (8,299 words; Time: 27m)

"Escape From Caring Seasons," by (edited by Wade Roush), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

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

Review: 2018.631 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Zora is the star of the show, of course, and her ingenuity and persistence make it all worthwhile. Zora and Anya clearly love each other, but it’s also clear that Zora is really ticked about anyone trying to control her. The tension during her escape is every bit as intense as in any other story, and the thrill when she gets to safety is satisfying.

Gina, the lost-person hunter/drone operator with a heart is almost as charming. It’s particularly cute when she accuses Zora of “murdering” one of her drones.

The company as villain is mostly plausible, in that the various things the software does seem to be aimed at maximizing revenue (assuming someone else pays for hospital stays). It's easy for companies to sacrifice customer satisfaction (which can't easily be measured) in favor of things that measurably improve revenue, and patients in elder-care facilities are unusually vulnerable.

Con: Code that’s smart enough to stop you from calling your lawyer is a bit hard to believe in. At least at the level of tech described in the story.

Other Reviews: Search Web, GoodReads.com
Sarah Pinsker Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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