Monday, September 30, 2019

Jolene, by Fiona Moore


(AI Automobile) A country singer has lost his wife, his dog, and his truck. The wife is a lost cause, and the dog is dead, but a counselor may be able to get the truck to take him back. (3,990 words; Time: 13m)

"Jolene," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 283, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.537 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s quite a complicated tale, in which the singer, the wife, the car, and the dog all have a role to play. Jolene and Willis were successful in car shows up until she dumped him. But was he abusive and controlling? Did he kill his wife? And what about the dog?

Best line: “Jolene, please don’t take my van.” If you don’t get this, have a listen to “Jolene,” by Dolly Parton.

Con: The protagonist, Noah, has no real agency here. He simply reports the events that happened.

It’s a good illustration of why no one would ever want to design an actual intelligence for a car. Who wants a car that can argue with you about where to go? Or decide to abandon you at any time?

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Fiona Moore Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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