Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Magician and Laplace's Demon, by Tom Crosshill

Clarkesworld Magazine, December 2014

A magician and an AI are locked in a long, long duel.

The AI is programmed to keep humanity safe and happy. Magic is unpredictability, and that's not safe...

When the AI meets a real magician and discovers what she can do, it's clear it needs to first, understand magic, and second, eliminate magic and the threat the magicians represent.

This is a neat little conflict, seen entirely through the eyes of the AI, who over the centuries comes to permeate and control all of human existence--except the magicians. It takes over a thousand years to get lucky and find the crucial information that enables the identification and elimination of magicians, one by one.

But what if magic and magicians are essential to the survival of the universe?

And what really happens at the end?

Quick, enjoyable, and interesting. Recommended.