Love Songs for the Very Awful by Robert Reed, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Mar/Apr 2018

Robert Reed is a stalwart of the SF mag scene. He’s been around for ages and he’s still producing top tier stuff. Relevant stuff. Socially responsible stuff–in my opinion. This piece is probably the most memorable I’ve read from Reed. The little author blurb before the piece also introduced me to his Great Ship series, the newest of which is The Memory of Sky, which I am now interested in as well.

This piece has a couple central characters in which technology plays a great part. One of the characters is a bioengineer at a lab and the other is one of her subjects. The subject just happens to be a harmless sociopath, which most sociopaths are. He only cares about himself, but he is, by and large harmless if self absorbed and an asshole. The study he’s a part of maps his brain and reads his thoughts and so the bioengineer enters into a relationship with this man knowing full well he’s a sociopath. It’s a super intersting premise. One that calls into question the Machiavelian ways in which people work that are not nessesarily harmful to others. I like this idea because, I really think that Machiavellian philosophies can be applied to everyday life for the befit of pretty much everyone involved. Is it untruthful? Perhaps, in a sense, but if everyone feels better about the situation, then is it really wrong?

That’s what this piece is a about and I really liked it. (B)

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