Autumn City is pretty similar to cities in Europe in Victorian times, with the exception of the fact that people emit ‘spores’ that give an indication of their emotions. The story sets up quite nicely, but rather ends with a whimper, with the issuing of spores being a Chekhov’s Gun which you want to play a key role in the denouement, but which doesn’t happen.
A short piece set in a society where pheromones are the primary means of interpersonal understanding, with facial expressions and body language no longer understood.
Jason Sanford. Sublimation Angels. A lengthy novella from Sanford which had the slight misfortune to be read immediately after a string of stories from Dozois’ latest Years’ Best, and not quite living up to that very high standard. The story reads more like a Young Adult story, as it whips through a story with a… Continue reading Interzone #224 Sept/Oct 2009
Gregory Benford. Naturals. Dawn is a young girl with an untouched genotype of great vintage. She has been brought up by a Meta, a large group of adults who share the parenting function, who have a less ancient genotype but whom are still Originals – people with virtually no connection to external machine intelligences. As… Continue reading Interzone Number 191 September 2003
Paul Di Filippo. Bare Market. A Charles Stross story from early 2000 (‘Bear Trap’) had a punning conclusion to a far-future information commodity trader yarn. Here di Filippo has a nearer future scenario, in which the world’s financial and information markets are managed by an intriguing and delectable babe. (No surprises there, PDF!) The babe… Continue reading Interzone Number 185 January 2003
Greg Egan. Dark Integers. A sequel to the well-received and Dozoised (13th) ‘Luminous’ from Asimovs, Sept 1995. According to my mini-summation of that volume : “Massive computing power is used to probe mathematical certainties. And if 2+2 does not equal 4, then what does that mean for the fabric of the universe? Maths was never… Continue reading Asimovs, October/November 2007