beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Three more from Analog march/april 2017

The Host
author is trying to work through their issues with a super religious upbringing. fair enough. but I don't see how the science in this science fiction leads to this set of behaviour. I mean there's a sort of super upload where everyone is all Holy Holy Holy all day being happy and thinking they're angels. it sends out attacks to turn bodies into zombies to infect more bodies with while it assimilates minds. to escape the attacks the people upload their minds and send them out by laser beam.
okay, but
why isn't the host happy with just copying all the minds?
like, one goes up to the angelic host, one goes out into the world like it wants to?
answer, religion, because everyone will be saved whether they like it or not. any unsaved version would be as unethical to leave running around as their five minutes earlier copy, in host logic.
but that's just religion going on a holy war, that's science as window dressing, I don't see why it bothers.

Plus there's the smaller things, like, one of the main characters keeps on shoplifting, and the computers see him do it and send his dad the bill. okay, but why is that not the usual way of checking out? I mean if everything is tracked to that extent then why would they retain a ritual of taking things to a single point in the shop just to acknowledge they must pay for them? tech doesn't support the story.

It tells a lot of sub stories that are not true, including elaborating the one with the really long spoons to end up with heaven going to war to force feed hell.
It seems to think that the stories within the story being all untrue is clever and part of the point.
I... don't think it's clever. Like its point is free will yaay host bad but thinks its good? bad stories explain their war to themselves and perpetuate problem? okay, but I remain unimpressed with anything that only sets up a problem.

I guess I got lingeringly annoyed with how there's a whole thread of suicide and specifically suicide as a way to save yourself from assimilation. They have powered spikes that are for stabbing their own brains. it's dark.

and threaded through its logic is the lingering possibility that not wanting to be in the host gets you kicked out of the host, which... ought to change things entirely. but since I'm not sure what the ending is doing I'm not sure it does.

After all that the fact the only woman even mentioned in the story is a dead one seems a bit superfluous to mention.

Violent, dark, murder and suicide and war with a futility of good intentions.
I disliked it quite a lot.

The Snatchers
A story with one character, plus the woman he stares at and describes physically for the first and last time of any character intro, and their tragic brief shag that leaves him feeling bad when she dies. And she dies mostly because her competence is useless around his brave experience. It's a time travel story where time wants to happen and gets inventively nasty about reacting to intrusion. But mostly it's about the point of view guy getting laid and feeling really sad for a whole paragraph at the end.

I am bored with every part of this story.
Like, it seemed to think its time travel setup, the rules of the 'verse, was interesting enough to treat the actual location and characters as just ways of explaining it. But no. So.

Unbearable Burden
Suicidal artificial intelligence. As one of a number of AI with mental health problems. Concludes the basic problem with AI isn't going to be inventing intelligence, it'll be inventing intelligence that actually wants to live.

Look I'm not saying it's wrong, but I am saying I'd really prefer not to have read it.

Especially since it's one of those times having every named character be female actually leaves a bad taste. I mean, I'm not saying suicidal assigned male AI would be an improvement, but it feels like adding insult to injury that they're all assigned female.

On the whole I'm not having fun reading this set.

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