Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Instantiation, by Greg Egan

★★★☆☆ Average

(Virtual Reality; 3-Adica Universe) The AIs who escaped from Sludgenet’s control in “3-Adica” now face a different threat; Sludgenet is going out of business, and they’re utterly dependent on its hardware resources. (19,929 words; Time: 1h:06m)

"Instantiation," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 03-04|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.124 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s a fun adventure as the “comps” try to move Arrietville to a safe location before “Sludgenet” goes broke. It’s a cute twist that Sludgenet may be failing because the comps that used to make the games more fun have all snuck away.

I was pleased that Sagrada finally decided to level with Alyssa, although I worried that Alyssa was too much of a fanatic to be helpful. That part of the story was definitely filled with tension.

On a separate note, the math in the story is well-researched. I’m impressed. It’s irrelevant to the plot, but it’s still a nice touch.

Con: One obvious drawback is that this story is utterly dependent on the reader having read the previous story. Beyond that, I couldn’t help feeling that these “people” are all parasites. Their escape into the real world isn’t really a good thing, and that made it hard to root for them.

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