Forward Collectionby Blake Crouch, N.K. Jemisin, Veronica Roth, Amor Towles, Paul Tremblay, Andy Weir
Published by Amazon Publishing on September 17, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction
This is a collection of short stories that I listened to during my commute to and from work. Each of the stories was well told and engaging. One thing I can say for sure is that all of the authors included in this collection are now on my ‘read more from this author’ list!
Randomize is a story about the use of a random number generator within casinos in order to prevent predictable patterns. I was especially intrigued by this story because the first computer program I ever wrote was a guess the number game which used a random number generator, and I learned how these really aren’t that random if not programed correctly. The first version of my game always had the same numbers, in the same order, play after play.
Emergency Skin touches on a possible future of Earth and Mankind has a whole. I explores one possibility that many may find far-fetched and hard to imagine, but if you look at our history you may find certain similarities to what transpires within this story. With that you might be able to see that though the future depicted in this story might be highly unlikely, it is far from impossible.
The Last Conversation follows someone who has awoken to find that he cannot remember who he is, or anything about his life. He is accompanied by a voice telling him that everything will be okay, and she will help him to remember everything. As this story unfolds it brings forth questions about what you would do, and what done, in this situation and the ending brings a bit of an unexpected ‘what?!’ moment.
You Have Arrived at Your Destination poses moral questions about humanity and the idea of nature vs nurture. The main focus of this story is a man who has been unable to have a child with his wife and an interesting opportunity presented by a fertility clinic that claims that not only can they help this couple have a child, but that can do so much more too. As the man learns about the options of the clinic he begins to question their choice to go there. It is hard to say much more without giving away too much of the story, but I can say that this is a must read/listen to any interested in the the idea of nature vs. nurture and technological advances in genetics.
Ark is set in another possible future where the Earth is about to be devastatingly destroyed my asteroid collision, and follows a scientist that is one of the last set to evacuate the Earth. Has she finalizes her preparations to leave the planet for good, she experiences something that completely alters her perception about certain aspects of human life.
Summer Frost explores the potential that Artificial Intelligence can become so much that it is difficult to identify it as artificial. This story follows a video game developer that created this AI for the game, and the emotional connection that builds between him and the game character as she develops an unexpected personality of her own and stops adhering to the laws of her programed role within the game. When you read this story you may ask how could someone not realize what is happening, and wonder if this could ever really be a thing.
In short, I highly recommend this entire collection to anyone interested in Science Fiction in any way as each of these very unique and well told tails explores the various aspects of what Science Fiction is all about!