Sunday, June 16, 2013
Review::Daddy's World by Walter Jon Williams
This is a short story.Probably somewhere around twenty to thirty pages. But it's really good as a short story and entertaining. It's also thought provoking. It asks some simple questions, which may or may not come up in the future.
Jamie lives in an idealistic life, which sounds like it's out of some children s novel. It's peopled with characters that could only live in books. But Jamie's Mom and Dad are there and so is his sister Becky. His days are simple filled with time to play but also time to learn.
Until one day when everyone seems to freeze. Stranger things happen where he sees parts of a person and hears a voice. This is the first indicator that things are not as they seem, which is actually pretty much a relief because this was reading too much like a children's tale.
Soon his sister makes a suggestion that they play matchmaker between Don Quixote and Princess Gigunda by deceiving Don into believing that Gigunda is really Dulcinea who, of course, Don Quixote loves. This antic heralds in a time when Becky, who is younger, starts to age faster than Jamie. This perplexes him but he's not ready to face what is happening.
As with short stories this becomes difficult to review because it's so short and a person doesn't want to give the whole story away.
This story is almost a cautionary tale. A modern fairy tale or fable. With the what if being what if we could download the mind of someone we love, who is dying, into a computer. It takes time to examine the ethics and legality of letting someone have that much control over your mind when you pass from this earth.
There are consequences as the conditions lasts longer than originally planned and eventually Becky, who has to live in both a real and fantasy world is a catalyst to Jamie gaining back more control of his life. But, just how will that work out for any of them.
You will have to read and see.
This short is a good introduction to the mind of Walter Jon Williams and his world building. I personally recommend his Implied Spaces novel as another good starting point.
Good Thought provoking SSF for all Future of the digital age related Science Fiction lovers.