A collection of nine short stories resulting from the "Red Adept Reviews Twists Contest."
“Building God” by Jessica Billings: A machine predicts the future of mankind.
This was a fabulous short story. What really took it above and beyond the norm for me was the concept. So many intriguing questions were raised: What is free will? How far should we go when "playing god?" At what point is safety more important than privacy?
Billings presents all of these concepts in a rare combination of effortless style and originality. The setting feels futuristic yet just similar enough to the present day to have the creepy "not-too-distance-future" effect. I was very impressed by how quickly the main protagonist becomes real to the reader. She is both driven and a victim of her times; this creates an interesting juxtaposition.
The ending of this story is really what forced me to pause and think about this review. It is not disappointing, per say. But I would describe it as a natural conclusion rather than a "twist." In a way, it seemed that too much was spelled out. Loose ends were neatly tied up where dangling uncertainty might have been the more potent storytelling device.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez