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Uncanny Magazine Issue 15: March/April 2017

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The March/April 2017 issue of Uncanny Magazine. Featuring new fiction by Beth Cato, Stephen Graham Jones, JY Yang, Sarah Pinsker, and S. Qiouyi Lu, reprinted fiction by Kameron Hurley, essays by Sam J. Miller, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Shveta Thakrar, Dawn Xiana Moon, and Paul Booth, poetry by Cassandra Khaw, Brandon O’Brien, Bogi Takács, and Lisa M. Bradley, interviews with St The March/April 2017 issue of Uncanny Magazine. Featuring new fiction by Beth Cato, Stephen Graham Jones, JY Yang, Sarah Pinsker, and S. Qiouyi Lu, reprinted fiction by Kameron Hurley, essays by Sam J. Miller, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Shveta Thakrar, Dawn Xiana Moon, and Paul Booth, poetry by Cassandra Khaw, Brandon O’Brien, Bogi Takács, and Lisa M. Bradley, interviews with Stephen Graham Jones and Sarah Pinsker by Julia Rios, a cover by Julie Dillon, and an editorial by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas.


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The March/April 2017 issue of Uncanny Magazine. Featuring new fiction by Beth Cato, Stephen Graham Jones, JY Yang, Sarah Pinsker, and S. Qiouyi Lu, reprinted fiction by Kameron Hurley, essays by Sam J. Miller, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Shveta Thakrar, Dawn Xiana Moon, and Paul Booth, poetry by Cassandra Khaw, Brandon O’Brien, Bogi Takács, and Lisa M. Bradley, interviews with St The March/April 2017 issue of Uncanny Magazine. Featuring new fiction by Beth Cato, Stephen Graham Jones, JY Yang, Sarah Pinsker, and S. Qiouyi Lu, reprinted fiction by Kameron Hurley, essays by Sam J. Miller, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Shveta Thakrar, Dawn Xiana Moon, and Paul Booth, poetry by Cassandra Khaw, Brandon O’Brien, Bogi Takács, and Lisa M. Bradley, interviews with Stephen Graham Jones and Sarah Pinsker by Julia Rios, a cover by Julie Dillon, and an editorial by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas.

30 review for Uncanny Magazine Issue 15: March/April 2017

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Currently this review is just for "Auspicium Melioris Aevi" by JY Yang, a very cool if rather disturbing science fiction short story free online here at Uncanny Magazine. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: Harry Lee is a clone, one of over fifty new genetic copies of Harry Lee Kuan Yew, a famous leader who almost single-handedly lifted his small island nation out of poverty. His skill set makes him a valuable resource in the modern world, so the Academy raises clones of the original Harry Currently this review is just for "Auspicium Melioris Aevi" by JY Yang, a very cool if rather disturbing science fiction short story free online here at Uncanny Magazine. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature: Harry Lee is a clone, one of over fifty new genetic copies of Harry Lee Kuan Yew, a famous leader who almost single-handedly lifted his small island nation out of poverty. His skill set makes him a valuable resource in the modern world, so the Academy raises clones of the original Harry Lee and other famous people, giving them simulated experiences that match the original’s in order to hone the same skills in the copies.These were faces familiar to anyone who had lived through the early twenty-first century: Leaders and thinkers, a catalogue of genetic excellence carefully curated and propagated by the Administrator himself. Pod-grown like heirloom tomatoes, they were made-to-order for clients, spending years in algorithmically-tailored training programs. Each one came with the Administrator’s mark of quality assurance. If there was proof of the consistency of their training and genetic integrity, it lay in the patterns which emerged in their interactions. The Suu Kyis and the Hillaries seemed to get along well, for example, but the Modis and Merkels never did. And sometimes there were surprises, like the frequent friendships between the Gateses and the Ahmadis.The clones who achieve the closest match are graduated and sent out to the nations and groups who have purchased them; the rest are, impliedly, destroyed. But the fiftieth Harry Lee clone feels the need to make different choices in the simulations than those he knows are expected of him. His sudden display of leadership qualities may be his doom. I expected a resolution similar that of a 1957 Isaac Asimov novella, Profession, and there is some echo of that, but JY Yang gives us an ending that is more subtle, if disturbingly indeterminate. It’s not at all clear what Harry’s fate will be, and whether it will be good or (what seems more likely) bad. The Latin title, meaning “Hope of a better age,” which is the Academy’s motto, has a sting to it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    This Review is for the novella And Then There Were (N-one) by Sarah Pinsker, included on my list of The Best Short SFF January-March 2017: https://1000yearplan.com/2017/11/16/l... At a trans-dimensional conference of Sarah Pinskers, insurance investigator Sarah Pinsker must find out who was responsible for the murder of DJ Sarah Pinsker as an Agatha Christie style-storm confines all the Sarah Pinskers to an island hotel. You don’t have to be a longtime Sarah Pinsker admirer to enjoy this supremel This Review is for the novella And Then There Were (N-one) by Sarah Pinsker, included on my list of The Best Short SFF January-March 2017: https://1000yearplan.com/2017/11/16/l... At a trans-dimensional conference of Sarah Pinskers, insurance investigator Sarah Pinsker must find out who was responsible for the murder of DJ Sarah Pinsker as an Agatha Christie style-storm confines all the Sarah Pinskers to an island hotel. You don’t have to be a longtime Sarah Pinsker admirer to enjoy this supremely engrossing meta-mystery, but if you are, this is basically the greatest piece of fan service ever written. Pinsker’s stories have always centered around protagonists who are willing to pursue their personal obsessions beyond the limits reason would normally permit, exploring the unstable ground that lies between narcissism and self-awareness. And Then There Were (N-one) is easily the most explicit rendering of this theme, and possibly her most entertaining.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carlex

    Four and half stars This short story is pure science fiction, read it! Hurrah for Sarah Pinsker!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Place holder for And Then There Were [N-One] by Sarah Pinsker Since Goodreads keeps merging those book pages for short stories, and messing with the shelves of its users in the process, see comment #9 for my personal solution how to keep track of the stories I've read and especially the ones I still want to read. If you've got a better idea, I'm open for suggestions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A riffing on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, except with more quantum alternate universes and meta -- in which, after the discovery of interdimensional travel, Sarah Pinsker's uncountable other selves gather in a single hotel for SarahCon to meet each other and discuss their lives. It's an interesting murder mystery where suspect and victim and investigator are all the same person; I just really enjoy premises that are unconventional sci fi-influenced murder mysteries (a little à la S A riffing on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, except with more quantum alternate universes and meta -- in which, after the discovery of interdimensional travel, Sarah Pinsker's uncountable other selves gather in a single hotel for SarahCon to meet each other and discuss their lives. It's an interesting murder mystery where suspect and victim and investigator are all the same person; I just really enjoy premises that are unconventional sci fi-influenced murder mysteries (a little à la Six Wakes). I enjoyed following Sarah’s anxieties re: all the roads not taken in her life (I KNOW THAT FEEL), and was fascinated by the descriptions of the different panels & events happening at the SarahCon. Unfortunately, the ending peters out a bit, but I still really liked the experience and Pinsker’s writing. 3.5 stars, rounded up. Read it here: http://uncannymagazine.com/article/an...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    In which one Sarah Pinsker, insurance claims investigator, gets invited to a cross-dimensional conference exclusively for, organized by, and attended by, different versions of Sarah Pinsker. And ends up (mild spoiler, but it's pretty much in the title) investigating the murder of one Sarah Pinsker. The suspect? Sarah Pinsker! Lots of thoughts about identity, and a much more interesting exploration of the whole many worlds/multiple versions of the same person thing than usual.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Merged review: Solely for "And Then There Were (N-One)" by Sarah Pinsker https://uncannymagazine.com/article/a... Nebula nominee for Best Novella, 2018. Review is only for this story. SarahCon! The ultimate Mary Sue! *Hundreds * of yourself, or close iterations, from around the multiverse…. The story starts out well. The protagonist Sarah, an insurance investigator, is asked to look into a mysterious death. And I think I’ll stop there, except to say that the story runs on a bit too long, and I wasn’t Merged review: Solely for "And Then There Were (N-One)" by Sarah Pinsker https://uncannymagazine.com/article/a... Nebula nominee for Best Novella, 2018. Review is only for this story. SarahCon! The ultimate Mary Sue! *Hundreds * of yourself, or close iterations, from around the multiverse…. The story starts out well. The protagonist Sarah, an insurance investigator, is asked to look into a mysterious death. And I think I’ll stop there, except to say that the story runs on a bit too long, and I wasn’t quite happy with the ending. But you should read it, and judge for yourself. I’m giving it 3.5 stars, rounded up. Cautiously recommended. Comparables: “Let’s Be Frank” (1957) by Brian Aldiss. A classic. I should reread it myself. http://variety-sf.blogspot.com/2009/0... “The Man who Folded Himself” (1973) by David Gerrold

  8. 5 out of 5

    Radwa

    I loved this a lot! I think I'm gonna read a lot of more of short sci-fi fiction because this was excellent. I found out about it through one of Book Riot's podcasts and I'm so glad I didn't dismiss it. There's alternative realities and what would you do when you're surrounded by a lot of versions of you from other realities? I just enjoyed it a lot.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    Review only for the novella "And Then There Were None. " Interesting concept but not much going on. Too much internal contemplation for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul Perry

    Sarah Pinsker, an insurance investigator, receives an invitation to a gathering of other Sarah Pinsker's from many realities. The author takes a fresh angle on the multiverse idea to question who our lives diverge, how apparently minor decisions and events can shape our lives - and how, perhaps, doors are rarely fully closed to us. Clever, thoughtful, funny and a great mystery story on top of everything else. A truly superb tale, an outlandishly excellent premise perfectly executed

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    I've always been intrigued by the idea of a story where all the leads are alternate versions of the same person, and this Agatha Christie riff carries it off better than Gaiman and Reaves' InterWorld, despite/because of being considerably shorter. Set at a convention for alternate versions of Sarah Pinsker, it plays on the weirdness of investigating the murder of almost-you by also-almost-you, as well as the difficulties inherent in detection when everyone really does know how each other think, I've always been intrigued by the idea of a story where all the leads are alternate versions of the same person, and this Agatha Christie riff carries it off better than Gaiman and Reaves' InterWorld, despite/because of being considerably shorter. Set at a convention for alternate versions of Sarah Pinsker, it plays on the weirdness of investigating the murder of almost-you by also-almost-you, as well as the difficulties inherent in detection when everyone really does know how each other think, not to mention how to pass as each other. Mainly I was surprised there wasn't more sex, especially given plenty of the Sarahs are established as queer. But maybe, for all that narrator-Sarah's other half suggests the whole event is an exercise in narcissism, they're just not as bad for that as my alters would be. Whodunnit? Well, Sarah, of course. I guessed which one fairly early on, but then I was perhaps helped by having slightly off-centre taste in murder mysteries; I've never read any Christie, but I do like Father Brown, and for all the elements here which would turn Chesterton's hair whiter, I think he'd appreciate the core of it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Przemek

    The rating is only for the fiction, essays (except 'Fandom in the classroom') are bunch of biased, unreadable leftist nonsense about resisting everything you don't agree with in the name of peace, love, equality and tolerance. As long as you agree with the authors, obviously (otherwise you are neonazi, racist, homophobic etc.). Rating including essays is two stars or even one and a half. #resistance #resist #resistanceisbeautiful #brainwashing101

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    Harry Lee is on the cusp of graduating when he starts to make the wrong choices in simulations. He's supposed to recreate what the original Harry Lee did (for Harry, or number 50, is a clone created to be sold as an adviser), but he keeps seeing other options to take. I like the premise of this a lot, and as it chugged along I enjoyed it (view spoiler)[and then the last few sentences, when Harry is given more freedom than he knows what to do with, felt so refreshingly true. (hide spoiler)] Availa Harry Lee is on the cusp of graduating when he starts to make the wrong choices in simulations. He's supposed to recreate what the original Harry Lee did (for Harry, or number 50, is a clone created to be sold as an adviser), but he keeps seeing other options to take. I like the premise of this a lot, and as it chugged along I enjoyed it (view spoiler)[and then the last few sentences, when Harry is given more freedom than he knows what to do with, felt so refreshingly true. (hide spoiler)] Available online here.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. “Who discovers how to access infinite realities and then uses that discovery to invite her alternate selves to a convention?” Great concept. How do you investigate a murder when the victim and all the suspects are the same person? The point of view is one of the more pedestrian iterations of Sarah (yes, the author uses herself as the main/entire cast), but fails to grip the reader with the inner turmoil she describes as happening. Too focused on philosophizing and preaching. “Divergence points wer “Who discovers how to access infinite realities and then uses that discovery to invite her alternate selves to a convention?” Great concept. How do you investigate a murder when the victim and all the suspects are the same person? The point of view is one of the more pedestrian iterations of Sarah (yes, the author uses herself as the main/entire cast), but fails to grip the reader with the inner turmoil she describes as happening. Too focused on philosophizing and preaching. “Divergence points were the key to everything.” Figured out who-dun-it half way through, but find the explanation unsatisfying, though Pinsker provided several twists trying to make it suspenseful. “We all built the future with our choices every day, never knowing which ones mattered.” (2018 Hugo Award novella finalist. Illustration is cover of magazine in which story appeared; has nothing to do with story.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    Not a review. Includes my story "With Cardamom I'll Bind Their Lips."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This was a weird novella. It was enjoyable to read. I am torn with taking it seriously or not. If I took it more seriously, I might be annoyed by it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tulika

    I've hardly ever read science fiction but I'm so glad I stumbled upon this one. It's an amazing concept - the protagonist is invited to a convention where she gets to meet her alternative selves, her other selves had she taken different life decisions. Even the smallest decision like going out for dinner results in an alternative version of herself. At the convention one of her is murdered. The protagonist is an insurance investigator and is called in to investigate the murder. But how on earth w I've hardly ever read science fiction but I'm so glad I stumbled upon this one. It's an amazing concept - the protagonist is invited to a convention where she gets to meet her alternative selves, her other selves had she taken different life decisions. Even the smallest decision like going out for dinner results in an alternative version of herself. At the convention one of her is murdered. The protagonist is an insurance investigator and is called in to investigate the murder. But how on earth will she figure this out considering everyone at the convention is a version of herself? It proved to be an absolutely engrossing read. My only complaint - it should have been longer - a full length novel perhaps.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kayt O'Bibliophile

    This review is for And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinkster. I wrote my review on a record for that story, and somehow it's been merged into the record for this issue. Ugh. Wow, this was fun. On one hand, you've got a basic murder mystery set at a convention. On the other hand, you've got the fact that every single attendee and organizer is the same person--Sarah Pinkster--from different realities. With both hands you have fun, smart writing and an engaging story. The idea of attending a conv This review is for And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinkster. I wrote my review on a record for that story, and somehow it's been merged into the record for this issue. Ugh. Wow, this was fun. On one hand, you've got a basic murder mystery set at a convention. On the other hand, you've got the fact that every single attendee and organizer is the same person--Sarah Pinkster--from different realities. With both hands you have fun, smart writing and an engaging story. The idea of attending a convention made up solely of alternate versions of yourself is intriguing and thought-provoking. Some Sarahs are "closer" to our main character than others--maybe a different address, or a job on the next street over. Some Sarahs live in different cities, some married different people, some aren't even Sarah at all, but have changed names, or different gender identities. And then, on top of that fascinating premise, you have the almost-mundane-by-comparison murder of a Sarah. But of course, that means all the suspects are Sarahs. So the investigator is having to interview alternate versions of herself. Whoa. Overall, it's obvious why this was nominated for both a Hugo and a Nebula (which is, incidentally, how I found it--trawling lists of recent winners and nominees). The mystery wouldn't be nearly as interesting by itself, but the mystery gives an unexpected, less scienc-y/technical/trippy focus on the sci-fi setting. Thoroughly enjoyable, and I wish it was longer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    2018 Hugo Finalist for Best Novella “And Then There Were (N-One),” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny, March/April 2017) I read this over my lunch breaks sporadically during the first two weeks of April 2018. I enjoyed reading the story and loved the not-so-subtle reference to Christie's amazing And Then There Were None. While well written and at times mind mindbogglingly convoluted, the ending left me completely unsatisfied. But I suspect that was the author's intent. 3.5-4 stars 2018 Hugo Finalist for Best Novella “And Then There Were (N-One),” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny, March/April 2017) I read this over my lunch breaks sporadically during the first two weeks of April 2018. I enjoyed reading the story and loved the not-so-subtle reference to Christie's amazing And Then There Were None. While well written and at times mind mindbogglingly convoluted, the ending left me completely unsatisfied. But I suspect that was the author's intent. 3.5-4 stars

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Hayes

    An enjoyable concept whose execution I am still wrestling with. The idea at the core of the novella is great: a mystery at a convention attended only by alternate-reality versions of the same person. The prose is solid, casual and thoughtful. The character work is great. The actual plot feels a tiny bit off somehow, but I may just have been expecting something slightly different. It is still enjoyable and inventive, and I recommend it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Oleksandr Zholud

    This novella was short-listed for Nebula Award in 2018 (but not won it) The story, the title of which alludes to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and tells the story of the author, Sarah Pinsker invited to the inter-dimensional conference on a remote island (sic!), where alternate versions of her mingle together, gathered by her alternative, who found the way to connect dimensions. All is fine and good unlit one of her is found dead, possibly killed but another her. The fiction part is This novella was short-listed for Nebula Award in 2018 (but not won it) The story, the title of which alludes to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and tells the story of the author, Sarah Pinsker invited to the inter-dimensional conference on a remote island (sic!), where alternate versions of her mingle together, gathered by her alternative, who found the way to connect dimensions. All is fine and good unlit one of her is found dead, possibly killed but another her. The fiction part is great and while this has been done before (e.g. All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein) it is great as a psychology (if she is me, I in her place would do so and so, and SHE IS ME) but the mystery part is not perfect, thus only 4*. Nevertheless, recommended

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz

    This novella was a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award and for the 2018 Hugo Award for a reason. Plot may sound crazy, but don’t let it scare you. In Sarah Pinsker’s novella Sarah Pinsker gets an invitation to SarahCon, a gathering of Sarah Pinskers from across multiple realities, on an island where realities converge. Sarah Pinsker has to solve the mystery of a murder of Sarah Pinsker killed by Sarah Pinsker. Still with me? Good. Only Sarah works in an insurance company, not in a police departme This novella was a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Award and for the 2018 Hugo Award for a reason. Plot may sound crazy, but don’t let it scare you. In Sarah Pinsker’s novella Sarah Pinsker gets an invitation to SarahCon, a gathering of Sarah Pinskers from across multiple realities, on an island where realities converge. Sarah Pinsker has to solve the mystery of a murder of Sarah Pinsker killed by Sarah Pinsker. Still with me? Good. Only Sarah works in an insurance company, not in a police department. And why on earth one of Sarah would kill another Sarah? I love this idea. It is, in short, a pure mind-bending awesomeness. Add to this clever twists, protagonist trying to psych herself and strongly emotional reason behind the murder and enjoy an engaging and surprising story. At less than 50 pages, this is a quick read, but not a light or self-indulging one. Well worth your time, plus it can be read for free HERE.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sue Burke

    Sarah Pinsker (not the author) gets an invitation to a Sarah Pinsker convention being organized by Sarah Pinsker, the quantologist, who has found a way to connect alternate realities. More than two hundred Sarahs come from a wide variety of divergence points, some very similar to other Sarahs, a few quite different, and from similar or different Earths. In one, for example, Seattle has been destroyed by an earthquake. Then a Sarah Pinsker is murdered. Which one? By which one? Why? Sarah (the aut Sarah Pinsker (not the author) gets an invitation to a Sarah Pinsker convention being organized by Sarah Pinsker, the quantologist, who has found a way to connect alternate realities. More than two hundred Sarahs come from a wide variety of divergence points, some very similar to other Sarahs, a few quite different, and from similar or different Earths. In one, for example, Seattle has been destroyed by an earthquake. Then a Sarah Pinsker is murdered. Which one? By which one? Why? Sarah (the author) does a good job of showing the weirdness of being surrounded by people almost just like yourself.

  24. 4 out of 5

    J. Boo

    Not amazing, but short, and the idea - a clone of Lee Kuan Yew running through different simulations from the real Lee Kuan Yew's life in order to graduate from Clone Academy - is clever.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Feld

    What begins as a convention held for hundreds of alternate-reality versions of the author takes an intriguing turn when one of the Sarah Pinskers turns up dead. Questions arise: Which of them was even murdered? Who could possibly have wanted to kill them here? It falls to the narrator, a Sarah who works as an insurance investigator, to stumble through solving her "own" murder. The story, with even the title acting as a pointed homage to Agatha Christie, delivers on its promise of stranded groups What begins as a convention held for hundreds of alternate-reality versions of the author takes an intriguing turn when one of the Sarah Pinskers turns up dead. Questions arise: Which of them was even murdered? Who could possibly have wanted to kill them here? It falls to the narrator, a Sarah who works as an insurance investigator, to stumble through solving her "own" murder. The story, with even the title acting as a pointed homage to Agatha Christie, delivers on its promise of stranded groups, red herrings, and surprising twists--I figured out part of the ending two thirds of the way through, but not the most important part. I did have some small quibbles. (view spoiler)[ First, some of the Sarahs are older because those sets of parents didn't wait to have kids, but the biology of sperm generation and egg release doesn't work that way (which is why you're not a clone of your brothers and sisters). Second, and more importantly, I felt cheated by the end. Pinsker tries to avoid telling us what Investigator!Sarah does about the crime by saying a myriad of other Sarahs are choosing differently in that moment, but the whole point of the story is that those choices and their consequences matter, that however curious you might be about the road not traveled, the choices you actually make shape who you are and what world you live in. It matters that we know what she decided and what the consequences of that decision were. (hide spoiler)] But this definitely deserved its spot on the Hugo ballot.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Derek Nason

    It’s a fun, funny and at times very personal novella. It’s title is a play on an Agatha Christie story as it’s a murder mystery that takes place on a stormy island where various iterations of the author have come from their own place in the multiverse to mingle with themselves for the weekend. As a Maritimer (being from Eastern Canada), I’m all too enamored with having a Hugo nominated story take place in Nova Scotia. We love being mentioned. We love it. Even if it takes place on a fictional isl It’s a fun, funny and at times very personal novella. It’s title is a play on an Agatha Christie story as it’s a murder mystery that takes place on a stormy island where various iterations of the author have come from their own place in the multiverse to mingle with themselves for the weekend. As a Maritimer (being from Eastern Canada), I’m all too enamored with having a Hugo nominated story take place in Nova Scotia. We love being mentioned. We love it. Even if it takes place on a fictional island named after a hero of the war of 1812 who today is remembered with the occasional Canadian Heritage Minute on TV & the chain of candy stores that bear her name. Watch Ghostbusters (1984) with a maritimer—wait for Rick Moranis to say “this is real smoked salmon from Nova Scotia, Canada,” then look at your maritimer buddy. They’ll be grinning and pointing at the screen. Also couldn’t help being reminded of Rick and Morty and the Citadel of Ricks episodes: Rick [to Morty]: “This place is a real who’s who of who’s me and you.” This story feels free the same way a good episode of R&M does. It shows that rigidly defined rules that are front and center aren’t what make a SciFi universe a good read. The author makes storytelling look easy here, which is an amazing accomplishment. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    I love the premise of this one. Sarah Pinsker attends a SarahCon full of her selves from other universes. And there's an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery! Probably a Sarah did it, but which one? Fun and deep thoughts ensue. Whether the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics is right (as this story presupposes), Pinsker gives a lot to think about: How do we shape our worlds and how are our identities shaped by our worlds? How do events and choices, whether momentous or seemingly insign I love the premise of this one. Sarah Pinsker attends a SarahCon full of her selves from other universes. And there's an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery! Probably a Sarah did it, but which one? Fun and deep thoughts ensue. Whether the many worlds interpretation of quantum physics is right (as this story presupposes), Pinsker gives a lot to think about: How do we shape our worlds and how are our identities shaped by our worlds? How do events and choices, whether momentous or seemingly insignificant, shape who we are? Does this picture require a libertarian theory of freedom? Or is it deterministic? Compatibilist? My favorite quote from the story: "Some other place, a hotel nightclub full of Sarahs danced awkwardly to their favorite music, shaped by their worlds, shaping new ones."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    I may have already mentioned that this is the first year I've bought a supporting membership so I can vote for the Hugos. This is a bit of a commitment for me, because although I do read a lot, I rarely read books close to the time they come out. Generally I get to them about two years later, so now I'm having to bump a bunch of last year's books to the top of my list. Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came t I may have already mentioned that this is the first year I've bought a supporting membership so I can vote for the Hugos. This is a bit of a commitment for me, because although I do read a lot, I rarely read books close to the time they come out. Generally I get to them about two years later, so now I'm having to bump a bunch of last year's books to the top of my list. Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  29. 5 out of 5

    ღFox

    This was an absolute delight. Our-world Author Sarah Pinsker writes a short story about an iteration of herself (insurance investigator) who decides to attend a weekend conference hosted -- and attended by -- other versions of herself. Physicist Sarah is murdered (one of them, anyway), and Investigator Sarah is the only attendee with any related experience... but honestly, the plot wasn't the main draw of this for me. Instead, it was the questions it raised: would you attend a similar conference? This was an absolute delight. Our-world Author Sarah Pinsker writes a short story about an iteration of herself (insurance investigator) who decides to attend a weekend conference hosted -- and attended by -- other versions of herself. Physicist Sarah is murdered (one of them, anyway), and Investigator Sarah is the only attendee with any related experience... but honestly, the plot wasn't the main draw of this for me. Instead, it was the questions it raised: would you attend a similar conference? Would you try to make friends? How would you differentiate yourself from other versions of yourself? Would you be jealous, or curious? Where do the divergence points happen? What version of yourself would you most like to meet? This story is why I love sci-fi. It should've won the Hugo for Best Novella in my opinion, but at least there's a good chance that in one reality, it did.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    Obviously the title is a play on Agatha Christie, and it delivers: a murder, a storm-isolated island, dozens of suspects, secrets known and unknown. Also it is science fiction: a scientist has invented a way to access the multi-worlds implied in one interpretation of quantum mechanics, and she uses this to ... organize a convention of herself on all the worlds, with everything you expect in a fan convention (panels like "Horses and Dogs, but not Cats ... Why?"). So the victim, and the killer, are Obviously the title is a play on Agatha Christie, and it delivers: a murder, a storm-isolated island, dozens of suspects, secrets known and unknown. Also it is science fiction: a scientist has invented a way to access the multi-worlds implied in one interpretation of quantum mechanics, and she uses this to ... organize a convention of herself on all the worlds, with everything you expect in a fan convention (panels like "Horses and Dogs, but not Cats ... Why?"). So the victim, and the killer, are all the same person. As is the 'detective,' our viewpoint character. I loved this. It had the right balance of fun and serious, of thinking and wondering, of mystery plot and character ... well, not development but exploration. I voted for it in the Hugo final ballot. Pinsker has a wonderful way with words, often picking just the right one for the mood or mood change in the scene she is writing. This made me discover her writing, but I'll read more.

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