Review of Thomas Webster, “Standard”, Analog Science Fiction and Fact March/April (2022): 153–156 (Kindle) – Purchase Here. Reviewed by John Atom.
A tech repairman helps a young woman maintain and enhance her artificial implants that enable her do her job. She keeps asking for more regardless of the dangers involved.
I always appreciate stories that are able to pack a lot of meaning in small amounts, and Webster’s story certainly fits into that category. The subjective narration has an unruly quality about it that helps get across the psychology of the narrator as he sees his younger self in his client and her inevitable demise. There’s an interesting contrast between a highly technological world and a simple life, and to what extend either path is a choice. Overall, an excellent and thought-provoking short story.