Thursday, November 7, 2019

Binary, by Rajan Khanna


(SF Exploration) The probe to a binary star carries a drone that hosts a copy of Shalvi’s mind. She’s there for a mysterious artifact, but simply managing the drone body proves a challenge by itself. (6,468 words; Time: 21m)

"Binary," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 11-12|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.608 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The story does a nice job of building tension, and the twist is great!

Con: The bad science continually distracts from the story. For example, a light-year is a unit of distance, not time. The white dwarf should have the mass of the sun, not the density. The companion star should be a red giant, not a red dwarf. It’s ridiculous for Shalvi to step outside to look at the artifact; it will fly by the Brotherton too fast. Etc.

I was sure early on that the AI was responsible. I wasn’t sure why, of course, but it seemed to take Shalvi way too long to suspect Alvin. That said, the AIs who just want to kill humans because they’re mean just to be mean are hard to credit.

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