- “The Starfish Girl” by Maureen McHugh, Slate, July 23, 2018
- “Surrogate” by Griffin Ayaz Tyree, Nature, July 25, 2018
- “Actionable Intelligence” by Alter S. Reiss, Terraform, July 27, 2018
All stories are SF and all are short (one or two being flash, depending on your definition) in this very light week. All are also adequate but none are compelling reads.
“Surrogate” starts as a rationalized seance with the dead through the magic of technology but actually focuses on the “medium” and her relationship with life and death. “Actionable Intelligence” has interesting thoughts on total war and a military command interested in perpetuating it vs. the soldiers in training who are interested in perpetuating other things, but it relies on a remarkably loose training process and isn’t so much a story as a fleshed out note on part of one. “The Starfish Girl” is a very near-future tale which is essentially mainstream and has no driving plot – just a couple of gymnasts waiting around for an IOC ruling about whether they can compete in the 2024 Olympics. The sole speculative element is that one has had starfish DNA CRISPR’ed in to help her recover from a paralyzing spinal break and the other has had her own DNA modified to help her recover from a blown-out knee. But whether prosthetic blades or DNA, society has already been confronted with these issues in both fiction and fact. Except for being fairly dull, it’s perfectly adequate but is easily skipped if you’re so inclined.