Monday, September 9, 2019

Amorville, by Bella Han

[Clarkesworld]
★★★★☆ A tale of obsession and deception

(Dystopia) In 2050s China, a young woman distracts herself from her dead-end job and tiny apartment by falling in love with an online guy who seems too real to just be a simulation. (9,164 words; Time: 30m)


"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 156, published on .

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

Review: 2019.503 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Eva tells us that Thoreau wrote Walden 200 years ago, so that sets the story in about 2050.

Eva seems like a nice person, and she tries hard to be sensible, carefully managing her money so she can splurge on things that matter to her. It’s rather sad to see her addicted to an online thing like Danny, and yet the rest of her life is so limited it’s easy to understand the appeal.

It’s disappointing that her date with Mr. Qiao ends so badly. Up to the point he expressed his desire for a totally open marriage, they seemed to be well-suited. That just underlines how limited Eva’s options seem to be.

Her conversation with Seb shows she’s far from the only person with the same problem. Seb admits to losing his real-life boyfriend because he couldn’t accept Seb’s online boyfriend.

One Eva decides Danny is a real person after all, she actually makes some progress cleaning up her life—right up to the point where she sees the news announcement and realizes Danny was just the beta test of a new, more advanced simulated person.

Con: This is basically the story of an addict, and those are hard to enjoy unless you really like reading about self-destructive people.

I never figured out why she had to illicitly upgrade her machine to hyper mode. Why couldn’t she just ask Danny in regular mode?

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Bella Han Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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