Sunday, May 4, 2008

* David Marusek's "Osama Phone Home" (short story, science fiction)

An illegal underground club is formed in the US of "ordinary" citizens whose resources would put many militaries to shame. Their objective: to determine the location of Osama Bin Laden, & hand this information over to US military.

To this end, they are ready to infect large populations in Pakistan to some kind of virus that makes the owner crave for talking to someone, or something. Once Osama calls from a phone, they have extensive automated electronic surveillance system that will identify the location.

At the eleventh hour, the plan will be foiled by US security agencies.

Interesting part of the story are some of the technology discussions - generally very plausible, even if not immediately. My dislike of the story primarily comes from the implied thinking - that US lives are more precious than lives elsewhere.

Fact sheet.

First published: MIT Technology Review, March/April 2007.
Rating: B
Download full text.
Was in the preliminary rounds of BSFA Awards 2007 in short fiction category.

Note: Why is this post so short?