Review of Rachel Harrison “Irregularity”, Apex Magazine 106 (2018): Read Online. Reviewed by Joanna Z. Weston.
After nearly perishing in an alien invasion, humanity decided that computers were not reliable enough to watch the void of space for threats. Now, specially trained humans work at outposts, watching the data for inconsistencies. Nyle is one of those observers. It’s a lonely job – he only sees his one human co-worker for a few minutes a day, and otherwise interacts only with the station itself and the endless data stream. This makes for a quiet, character driven story, focused almost entirely on Nyle.
In addition to the impeccably well-crafted character of Nyle, this story also has a well-built, interesting world. We mostly get hints of it from his memories, but so much of the story takes place in Nyle’s head, that still gives us a good look at the stratification of this society.
I enjoyed the quiet, introspective story telling in this piece, and recommend it for anybody who enjoys space stories that are less action and more reflection, with a strong, emotional ending.