Monday, March 2, 2020

Short Fiction Mini-Review: "GO. NOW. FIX." by Timons Esaias


This is one nifty little story!

"GO. NOW. FIX." by Timons Esaias appears in the January/February 2020 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. The protagonist is a PandaPillow, which is just what it sounds like--a consumer product meant to comfort a child or traveler. It has senses, motility, and the ability to reason, but you wouldn't call it an AI. It's just a very capable expert system.

At the start of the story, there is an explosion and he PandaPillow tumbles out of overhead torage in an airliner filled with blood and unconscious human beings. Following protocols, it connects to Customer Service and sets out to rescue everyone. Then...

Well, then you have the pleasure of reading the story. Being the sort of story it is, you know the PandaPillow will come through. But that doesn't take away the suspense. Or the satisfaction of watching it happen. Or the pleasure in a carefully crafted ending to the story.

This story's just for fun. And fun it is. I recommend it.

And I should explain . . .

One of my New Year's resolutions--well, actually, the only one. I am so old that previous New Year's resolutions have rendered me practically perfect in every way--was to start reviewing short fiction again. Short fiction doesn't get many reviews and when it does, it's usually a sentence or three in the course of a review covering an anthology or magazine.

Alas, I have a lot on my plate these days. So I haven't the time to write thoughtful, seriously structured reviews the way I once did, back in the old New York Review of Science Fiction days. So, recognizing that I was being too ambitious, I lowered my sights. Now I am resolved to every now and then write a line or three in praise of a story that catches my eye.

So I have begun. Fingers crossed, I should be continuing to review stories I like in the coming weeks, months, or years.


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