Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Against the Stars, by James Gunn


(Fantasy Science; In Our Stars) A group of scientists and spiritual leaders gathers to discuss what to do about a hostile alien AI that might threaten the Earth or might not exist at all. (14,030 words; Time: 46m)

This story is a direct sequel to In Our Stars and will be hard to make sense of if you haven’t read that one first.

"Against the Stars," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 05-06|20, published on by .

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

Review: 2020.255 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is about a group of people working together to try to save the world. Probably the best part is the various ways the alien AI tries to kill them and their cleverness (or just luck) in escaping.

Con: Without context from the previous story, this is incomprehensible. Even with it, the entire first section (30% of the whole story) is pretty dull. There’s little to recommend the rest of it; the narration is okay, but the dialogue is often unnatural, and—from a scientific point of view—the plot makes no sense; there’s no way to write a virus to attack a machine that uses “alien mathematics.”

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