Sunday, April 14, 2019

One/Zero, by Kathleen Ann Goonan

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Dystopia) In the Third World, a teenage girl sees her whole family killed and flees with her brother. In Washington, an old woman gradually gives up on life. Somehow, their paths cross. (10,254 words; Time: 34m)

"," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), published on by .

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

Review: 2019.206 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The twin threads have plots that ultimately intersect. Vida simply needs to survive, keep her brother alive, and make a start on having a future. Mai needs to find a purpose to live again.

Beyond that, it’s an exploration of how truly super-intelligent machines might change the world—for better or for worse.

Con: I couldn’t sustain disbelief for this story. The amount of technical advancement is ridiculous for just the next ten years, and Ezo isn’t merely a computer program; she’s a god.

The mathematical babble is annoying. No one who thought 1/0 represented an irrational number ever won a math scholarship. Nor would a paper on superintelligence (or any other engineering topic) justify such a scholarship.

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Kathleen Ann Goonan Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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