Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Oracle, by Dominica Phetteplace

Solaris, September 2017 (in Infinity Wars: Infinity Project #6)

Rita is just trying to live her best life. She wants to have fun, be admired for having the best clothes, and achieve world peace. Somewhat reluctantly, she concludes that if the had to choose among the three, she'd have to choose world peace.

What she's really doing, though, is making money selling stuff via apps she writes, and also, via the whiskey-selling app, scraping all their data from their phones and selling that, too. She's got the fun and the great clothes and lots of followers on Instagram, but her Nobel Peace Prize app just isn't producing results for her.

Then the government comes knocking, wanting her to devise software that will pick easy, winnable, popular wars. She calls it STARITA, but the government calls it the Oracle.

And as it keeps getting fed more data, and more resources, it crosses that critical barrier, and starts picking its own goals.

This one is a lot of fun, without the grim fatalism of other stories in this anthology.

I bought the anthology that includes this story.