Gord Sellar. The Bernoulli War. (Asimovs August 2012)

Far future warfare carried out by post-human entities, in a clever, complex SF short story like Charles Stross used to write.

Here’s the opening sentence : “As the Bernouilliae troop carrier detached from the kilotransport, stuffed full of death to be rained down on the newly established Devaka hivespire, !pHEnteRMinE3H4n%jmAGic lurched forward a few microns – that was all there was room for, in the gunning tube where ve waited”.

Wowza. A non-gender specific uploaded post-human instance, created for a single task, with multiple regression/self-replications/instantiations (think ‘Source Code’). It took me two goes to get into the story. The first time I was put off by the long character name, which played havoc with the line formatting on my iPad! The story has nods to human backhistory and politics, the Bernoulli scientist/mathematician family.

I’m sure a lot of readers will be put off, never to return. Here’s a corker of a sentence, that you will have engage with to get through to the end : “Number of the sort evident in the subscripts was of course overtly hierarchic and thus permitted only for temporary, sandboxed instantiations of oneself until such point as they developed sufficient divergence in identity and motivation to relabel themselves with a new secondary provisional forkmaker”.

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