Monday, June 15, 2020

Optimizing the Path to Enlightenment, by Priya Chand

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Post-Apocalypse) Reinforced by implants, a Jain society rejects coercion of all kinds, but Anju sometimes finds it stifling, and she and her friends find ways to get away from it. (3,137 words; Time: 10m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 165, published on .

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

Review: 2020.312 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Anju is a true believer, so it’s not a surprise that she feels guilty about enjoying the juice bar. At first, when she started looking for evidence of failed receivers, I thought she was looking for more rebels to lead an insurrection, but, no, she was only seeking to atone.

When the only remaining failed transmitter is the one at the juice bar, the outcome is inevitable, although there’s a lot of tension in wondering whether Anju will end up punished too. The irony, of course, is that the Jade itself is terribly coercive, even if the society is supposedly beyond such things.

Con: It’s a bit depressing to think that the only way humanity could survive would be by giving everything up. If we can’t exist without something like the Jade, arguably we don’t deserve to exist.

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