REVIEW: “Checkmate” by J. S. Veter

Review of J. S. Veter, “Checkmate”, Luna Station Quarterly 35 (2018): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: Attempted suicide, assisted suicide.

Umam Preth is stuck at the end of the world with his dead wife’s AI and a shriveled apple. Everything else is gone, and he’s got 5 more minutes left before he is gone too. It’s every scientist’s dream, isn’t it? To be the one who gets to see the end of the world, to record it, to make notes, to see exactly how all things go out. But it’s also every scientist’s nightmare, to be the one who caused the nothing that is swallowing up galaxies. No wonder Umam Preth wants to kill himself.

The story opens with an attempted suicide, and yet, the entire thing was more amusing than anything, reminding me of Douglas Adams.

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