Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Vetting, by Michael Cassutt


(SF Thriller) A lawyer dying of cancer represents a Syrian researcher who’s trapped in immigration but who claims to have scientific proof of the afterlife. (6,685 words; Time: 22m)

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

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

Review: 2019.561 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Ruteb describes an afterlife where the soul survives the death of the body, but not always. If you lose your mind to a brain disease, then your soul in the afterlife will also be diseased. And if your body is destroyed in an explosion, your soul will be destroyed with it. Ironically, the unfairness of the process makes it all sound more plausible; little in the real world is fair.

The story is more poignant because Jeff only has a few years left (at most), so he’d very much like to believe all of this.

My favorite line was when, due to the attack on the airport, they’re outside (so past immigration) and Bruno says, “You’re almost out of here. Am I a hotshot lawyer or what?”

Con: It’s hard to see why Ruteb’s former associates would be so upset at his leaving that they’d mount this massive attack to get him. And it’s hard to believe they’d have the capability of doing so.

I also wondered whether shooting yourself in the head would result in annihilation, since it destroys the brain.

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