Saturday, July 02, 2005

Ian McDonald "The Little Goddess"

Posted by frankh at 11:58 PM
I read this from the fictionwise ebook of the June 2005 Asimov's, as promised earlier.

It almost loses for me with several cliches at work (juvenile heroine, India through Western Eyes, warmed over cyberpunk). What made me like it in the end (and I would also call is mundane sf) was that the use of "alien" jargon was so over the top compared to the norm I've experienced (for South Asian fiction for an English-speaking market) that I was in shock. Also I liked that the future USA was a minor villian in a story published in a US market. An interesting novella that I hope can find a place in the Best Of market next year.

This is another story that depends on major AI breakthroughs that I don't think are on the way. Compared to the sorts of crap that Mundane SF is railing against (and which I oppose as a reader mainly on the grounds that they are incredibly tired in 2005 coming from any but the most talented writers) this kind of speculation is still somewhat fresh.

However.

If indeed River of Gods uses some sort of time reversal in this same future setting, and it's all based on some sort of AI singularity mumbo jumbo, well then for me that's an unfortunate waste of an interesting world.

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