It only takes a couple of lines for me to viscerally dislike Kush Apbuscan — who does not know how to forgive somoene [at first I thought it was a woman, but when it turned out later on that I was mistaken, this didn’t exactly improve things] for rejecting him and who does not understand the concept of consent. It doesn’t take long for betrayal to be added to the list of reasons I dislike Kush, and from that point on, I have to admit, I struggled to finish this story. At every point when Kush is given the opportunity to fix things, he always ends up making it worse. There was a redemption arc for Kush, but I was frustrated by it, because I’m not sure he deserved one.
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.