The Jacobs Project: In Search of Pinocchio – Samuel J.M. King
Genre: Short Story: Sci-Fi
Cover: Nightmare Inducing
To be honest, when I saw the cover of Mr. King’s book, I put off reading the short story for a few days, just because it gave me goosebumps (not the good kind). I still haven’t decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It left an impression…right?
Length: It took me about 15 minutes to read the short story (all told). I’m a slow/moderate reader.
Warning: There is a scene that includes some disturbing content. It’s not too graphic, but it made me uncomfortable (it’s supposed to).
Succinct: Mr. King packs a whole lot of content into a small space and he does it really well. The story spans about 8 years, but it doesn’t feel rushed. You just kind of pop in at important times to find out how things are progressing.
Sci-Fi Goodness: This story is about AI and how the world would react to developments in this science. Sure, it’s something that has been done before, but Mr. King does it very well. It actually seems like a reasonable prospect and [creepily] almost exciting (though terrifying too). It’s just techy enough that you believe what’s going on, but not too technical (so those of us with less scientific minds can follow along).
The maybe not so good:
NAMES: There were a LOT of characters for such a short story and all of those characters have names. I don’t know about you, but I’m TERRIBLE at names (trust me, there’s nothing so bad as being a substitute teacher, making a connection with a student, and then having to tell them you forgot their name the next time you see them and watch as their little face crinkles up like they’re going to cry…I.CAN’T EVEN). Anyway, I had to flip back quite a few times to figure out who the hell was involved in a scene and if I’d met them already.
Final Thoughts: This story is fantastic. It manages to discuss technical developments, social issues, and human nature in the matter of a few pages. Mr. King has a talent for sci-fi and I would seriously recommend his Symbiosis Series to anyone who’s interested. I know I will be reading more of these stories. Soon.
Drink Recommendation: Drink the Universe!
2 liters of Gin or Vodka
9 liters of Tonic Water
3-4 Bottles of Roses Mojito Passion, OR 3-4 Canisters of Pink-Lemonade Concentrate
INSTRUCTIONS: Mix all ingredients together shortly before the party begins. Add ice as late as possible before drinking. Colors come to life under a black light!