WELCOME TO DECEMBER PROJECT!
boilerplate mission statement intro:
for the past two years, i’ve set december’s project aside to do my own version of a short story advent calendar. it’s not a true advent calendar since i choose all the stories myself, but what it lacks in the ‘element of surprise’ department it more than makes up for in hassle, as i try to cram even MORE reading into a life already overcrammed with impossible personal goals (live up to your potential! find meaningful work! learn to knit!) merry merry wheee!
since i am already well behind in my *regular* reviewing, when it comes to these stories, whatever i poop out as far as reflections or impressions are going to be superficial and perfunctory at best. please do not weep for the great big hole my absented, much-vaunted critical insights are gonna leave in these daily review-spaces (and your hearts); i’ll try to drop shiny insights elsewhere in other reviews, and here, i will at least drop links to where you can read the stories yourselves for free, which – let’s be honest – is gonna serve you better anyway.
HAPPY READING, BOOKNERDS!
links to all stories read in previous years’ calendars can be found at the end of these reviews, in case you are a person who likes to read stories for free:
scroll down for links to this year’s stories which i will update as we go, and if you have any suggestions, send ’em my way! the only rules are: it must be available free online (links greatly appreciated), and it must be here on gr as its own thing so i can review it. thank you in advance!
“You have a short?”
“Yes. That seems likely.”
Rava sat with her hand on the cable for a moment longer, weighing possibilities.
Ludoviko said, “It might be the transmitter.”
Cordelia shook her head. “No, because it did register for that moment. I believe the socket is cracked. Replacing that should be simple.”
Rava barked a laugh. “Simple does not include an understanding of how snug your innards are.” The thought of trying to fit a voltmeter into the narrow opening filled her with dread. “Want to place bets on how long before we hear from Uncle Georgo wondering why you’re down?”
Cordelia sniffed. “I’m not down. I’m simply sequestered.”
and this is why you don’t dance with AIs during the drunken revelry of a conception party. or why you do it carefully, without dropping them.
i think by law all stories that feature an AI have to, at some level, be thematically focused on the idea of humanity/selfhood and free will/programming, and this one does that, but it also touches upon aging and utility and reproductive control within a finite space (say, a spaceship big enough to hold conception parties, not big enough to waste resources on those who have become unproductive through mental or physical deterioration). it’s also about how technology is grand, but there’s a risk in putting all of one’s virtual eggs into one virtual basket.
also, it won a hugo award. and chuck tingle didn’t.
read it for yourself here: