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8/10
Rocket Surgery by Effie Seiberg
podcasts , Review , sci-fi , short stories / September 5, 2017

Short story “Rocket Surgery” by Effie Seiberg was originally published in n Analog, 2016. Its audio edition can be found now on Escape Pod’s episode 588 on the 10th of August 2017. Summary: A military team trains an A.I. rocket how to eliminate the enemy by choosing the best path through a series of simulations. But something goes wrong and the narrator ends up in prison. Analysis: The narrator is a member of the military team, now locked up in prison. The reader wants to know why the narrator is in prison and what happened to the A.I.. The names of either the country of the dictator or the names of the rockets add an extra quirkiness to the story. This fact helped us understand that this story is more about the interaction of the A.I. with its teacher than about the hardware / software mechanics behind the A.I. The plot is revealed slowly by showing how the AI is trained until it has an existential crisis. The story uses also a repetitive set of questions and answers which are used for the final spin successfully.

0
8/10
“If a Bird Can Be a Ghost” by Allison Mills
fantasy , Review , short stories / August 5, 2017

“If a Bird Can Be a Ghost” was published on on Aug 1, 2017 , Apex Magazine Issue 99. Summary: Allison Mills writes about a family of ghost busters. But they are not like in the movies. It’s only a grandma, with her daughter and her grand-daughter who is full of questions. They visit houses and help other people to exorcise ghosts that are haunting them. Also birds can be ghosts as well. Analysis: This short story is about grief and letting go. It has interesting themes such as: passing a skill from a generation to another. discovery of oneself and growing up how to treat ghosts face death of a close family member We follow the grand-daughter’s point of view as she grows up around ghosts. Another interesting idea is that you can catch a ghost on your hair!