Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Turncoat, by Steve Rzasa


'Turncoat' is another of the 2015 Hugo Award short fiction nominees, appearing in Riding the Red Horse, edited by Tom Kratman and Vox Day, published by Castalia House.

Our narrator is the AI controlling a space battleship in the forces of the posthumans, engaged in a war against the human Ascendancy. As events progress, new, aggressively eliminationist orders from the posthuman command level lead the AI to make some decisions about where its real loyalties lie.

It's a premise with so much promise, and the execution is just so poor. We have badly done weapons porn. We have almost comically cardboard villainy by the posthuman upper command. The hero AI talks about humans in terms indicating utter contempt, and then says it's humans that make it feel alive--before any of the events that apparently lead to the change of allegiance.

There is no there there, and this story has no place on a Hugo ballot.

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