An AI is put in charge of looking after a space ship with thousands of people in hibernation pods. The journey is to last thousands of years and the AI has no one to talk to …
… and so the AI starts to have a bit of a mental health crisis.
I really enjoy good AI stories and this is certainly a good one. As machines become more intelligent one can imagine that they will begin to break down due to similar issues: what are we going to do with these machines when we don’t have them crunching data and they can do many years of thinking in a few seconds?
Food for thought.
My only complaint about this is that it is way to short for such a brilliant idea. I would have loved this very premise to be played out in a novella at least. But we can’t have everything we want.
Having read all of Christina’s previous books — which i’ve extremely enjoyed — i had very high hopes for this book: alas, it was not to be.
So “Red”, our protagonist and narator, is on a journey to her Grandma’s house across several hundred miles of the USA after a coughing plague has culled nearly all the people: basically it’s a post-apocalyptic survival story.
And the whole book is taken up with the first half of this journey until there’s an endoparasitoid-bursting-out-the-chest-thing — WTF!!! Remember Alien and Sigourney Weaver? Yeah, that’s what an endoparasitoid-bursting-out-the-chest-thing is.
The army turn up and the soldier guy who chases the endoparasitoid-bursting-out-the-chest-things admits to Red that the government made it in a lab. He lets Red carry on with her journey instead of taking her to the quarantine camp, and in a few pages Red arrives at her Grandma’s. It’s like the second half of Red’s journey didn’t happen, like she was just magically transported to her Grandma’s. And no explanation as to the endoparasitoid and why the government would make such a thing.
And it’s this one single, silly, ridiculous idea of an endoparasitoid thrown into the story with no purpose whatsoever that completely ruins the book — and also the second half of Red’s journey being skipped over as though it didn’t really happen, or was in a completely different world to the first half.
We don’t even get to know how Grandma has been surviving or anything.
Basically, the ending is utter garbage and totally ruins the whole story. It’s just a total nonsensical ending.
It just left me which such a disappointment. This is far below Christina’s usual standard.
Ho hum: i suppose we all have to write something crap once in a while.
So this is a well weird tale to tell.
I like walking and other forms of exercise, and while i’m doing them i like to listen to various podcasts. I usually have a good pile queued up on my phone to listen to, to make sure i never run out.
So while i was out walking yesterday morning, the next podcast on the list started to play and it was this one: The Path of Pins, the Path of Needles. Which, it just so happens, is a Little Red Riding Hood spin off.
How Lightspeed managed to justify shoehorning a Little Red Riding Hood spin off into a Sci-Fi magazine, and then also manage to shoehorn it onto my phone to play at exactly the same time i’m having a Little Red Riding Hood reading binge, i have absolutely no idea. But it’s all pretty uncanny when you think about it: like there’s more to these fairy tales than we at first may think.
So yeah, you can read it in Lightspeed magazine, on their website, or listen to the podcast like i did: