Stories this issue :
Jay O’Connell. What We Hold Onto.
Dominica Phetteplace. Project Symmetry.
Sarah Pinsker. Clearance.
Mercurio D. Rivera. Unreeled.
Short, tight and excellent sf chiller from Rivera.
Jonathan is waiting with his young son for his wife’s return from exploring a singularity at the centre for the galaxy. Except she and her colleagues haven’t been away physically but “..had remained in stasis while a perfect replica of their brain patterns was uploaded into a quantum-entangled flik orbiting the black hole’s event horizon..’
And he’s not exactly eager for her return, as their relationship, prior to her going on this mission, had been crumbling away.
But she’s a changed woman on her return, which has to be a good thing, right? Wrong….
It’s a good format for a short story – introductory para to set up an intriguing ending to the story, and then some good characterisation and human interaction, and some solid science and SF.
Rick Wilber. Rambunctious.
Paul McAuley. Rats Dream of the Future.
It’s a while since I’ve read anything by McAuley, so good to see this story.
As with Mercurio D. Rivera’s story earlier in the issue, it’s a short and chilling story, set up well with an intriguing introductory paragraph or two. Here McAuley introduces a tomb to an undead husband – and the tomb is clearly there due to a scientific experiment that went terribly, terribly wrong.
The narrator of the story is a science journalist, rueing the day she met up with an ex-student colleague and failed to read between the lines. He had been working in the London for a city firm, looking at just how science could help his firm do better in the financial market. And he pretty much succeeds, except, of course, that he opens a can of worms (not quite worms, as the title indicates)…
There’s no action in the story, merely the journo setting down what happened and her reflections on events, and what may be ahead, and it works well.