Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Synapse Will Free Us from Ourselves, by Violet Allen

★★★☆☆ Average

(Virtual Reality) Daniel struggles with his job turning gay men straight, particularly since his first client keeps making it so difficult. (6,186 words; Time: 20m)

"The Synapse Will Free Us from Ourselves," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 106, published on .

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

Review: 2019.183 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The idea of using virtual reality to change things about people is an interesting one, although it’s been around for a while, I think.

The twist that Daniel and his colleagues are the actual subjects gradually becomes clear as the story progresses. The revelation that the organizers had given up on converting anyone (they just wanted to make people be ashamed again) made perfect sense.

Con: If they’re all in virtual reality, what good will it do to try to fight? They’ll all just get reset again anyway.

On a personal note, as a gay man, I had trouble reading this because it made me so angry. Not angry at the author, of course, but the history of "conversion therapies" is long and horrible, and they are still legal in most states.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. This is a reprint from A People’s Future of the United States, edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams (2019).