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2015 Story 146

146. LIKE NATIVE THINGS by Mary Robinette Kowal, from the July 2015 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction.   Kowal posits a not-too-distant future in which cybernetics work has allowed humans to "ride along" with the consciousness of animals. Anyone with the proper patch can tag into an animal, and if they're good enough they can control that animal's actions. Tilda is a scientist who co-developed the wetware, and now is involved in further research (some publically known, some top secret military applications), but her new physical relationship with her graduate assistant Helmut threatens the work she's doing.  Kowal spools out great characterization for Tilda especially, but also for Helmut and notably for the animals they "ride." She also builds the suspense, moving the story from an almost rom-com feel to Hitchcockian uncertainties deftly. ("Hitchcockian" is a term that gets thrown around very loosely, but this story really did remind me of "North By Northwest" at certain moments.)

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ed_rex
Jun. 19th, 2015 03:27 am (UTC)
A good story ...
From an issue pretty chock-full of them, I thought.
talekyn
Jun. 19th, 2015 04:30 am (UTC)
Re: A good story ...
I haven't read the rest of the issue yet, but wanted to get at least this one review up because I enjoyed the story so much. Hopefully the rest of the issue over the weekend, after I catch up on all the reviews I'm way behind on!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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