Reviews of stories published in Daily Science Fiction from September 25 through 29, 2017. Reviewed by Caitlin Levine.
“Your Life Unfolds, and Then–” by Barbara A. Barnett, Sept 25, 2017: Read Online.
My favorite story from this week! Check out the full review here.
“A Cost-Effective Analysis for the De-Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth” by Ronald D Ferguson, Sept 26, 2017: Read Online.
Ferguson gives us the dialogue from a short lecture on the costs of bringing back an extinct species, with a humorous ending. This is one of those stories that seems mostly a set-up for the twist at the end, but it is short enough to work well.
“Progress” by John Nadas, Sept 27, 2017: Read Online.
Nadas looks at a world where “units” – which sound a lot like humans – are being created as manual labor in a society of “superior” creatures – which could possibly be robots. The dialogue reads clearly as one side of an interview with a biologist who champions the use of these units, using arguments reminiscent of those favoring robots and AIs. I’m ambivalent about this story: it made me think without providing easy answers or resolutions, but I found it somewhat bland.
“When He Saw Her” by Cory Josiah Easley, Sept 28, 2017: Read Online.
Easley describes a typical romance between a boy and a girl, with a twist: They both live in a society where heterosexual relationships are treated with the disdain and discrimination society often deals to homosexual couples.
I thought this story had a lot of potential for complicated critical thinking that didn’t get fully explored. But it seems to me a great tool for those struggling to overcome their own prejudices: an inside look at these experiences using characters that resonate with a straight reader.
“Astronauts Can’t Touch You” by Carlie St. George, Sept 29, 2017: Read Online.
A well-written, engaging look at the personal nature of grief and its relation to emotional distance. St. George evokes strong emotions that will be recognizable to anyone who has lost a loved one. In a word: tragic. The metaphor of astronauts is played against the story’s plot of an alien attack. I liked how this story explored the complex ravages of grief through metaphor, but I found it unrelentingly, devastatingly sad.