Friday, April 5, 2019

Gaze of Robot, Gaze of Bird, by Eric Schwitzgebel

★★★☆☆ Average

(SF Epic) J11-L arrives at the target planet 95,000 years after the race that built it died, but it proceeds with its terraforming mission nevertheless. (4,920 words; Time: 16m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 151, published on .

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

Review: 2019.192 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: There are two stories here: the first is how J-11L worked to terraform the target planet and recreate intelligent life similar to those who created it. The second is how J-11L earned the right to be elevated to a real intelligence. There’s a little bit of Pinocchio in this second story, in that Jill starts off as an AI with no real intelligence, but eventually gets turned into a “real girl.”

Con: For a hard SF story, it has way too much bad science. For example, the idea that J-11L needed to carry a doll in the image of its creators in order to recreate them is daft. Or that it would work with local life forms rather than simply introducing life from its homeworld and cultivating that.

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