Ken Liu. The Clockwork Soldier. (Clarkesworld Magazine #88 January 2014)

clarkesworld88Online here.

Another clever story from Liu, well read by Kate Baker, who I haven’t had the pleasure of having in my ears for some time. The story has a story within a story, or a text-based adventure program story within a story, and the podcast neatly handles the computer element with clacking computer keys in the background as Baker reads out the commands entered by one of the protagonists.

Of course, a far future in which text-based adventure programs are still used is a bit of an anachronism, as I’m sure some of the younger readers will be nonplussed by the idea of typing in commands. But I’m with Liu (as you would expect from someone who programmed a text-based NFL simulation in the 1980s. Yup, text only…)

Repression of sentience of automatons is one of the key issues in the story, buy it’s layered, and the morality is not quite as simple as you might think.

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