Review of "Building God" by Jessica Billings, a single story in the collection "Twists and Turns"

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.

4.5/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez


  1. This was one of my favorite stories from this collection.
    But really, the whole collection was damned good.

    Shana Hammaker

  2. I am quite enjoying it as well. All the writing is really, really solid.

    Stay tuned for further reviews on each story.


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