Friday, February 3, 2012

Mari Ness' "And the Hollow Space Inside" (short story, cyborg, free)

We've come a long way since C L Moore invented cyborgs in "No Woman Born". Moore's version was an extreme one: only brain of a fire victim could be saved; so she got a steel body. Since then, most (but not all) cyborgs have had an intermediate form - some parts of the body are mechanical.

I liked this story for a single reason: this is one of the rare stories that looks at the other extreme form of cyborgs as the central idea: what if someone is born deformed, where deformity is a complete lack of brain tissue? In this case, the baby is saved by providing computer to complete the individual.

The story, however, does not share the spirit of Moore's original. Moore doesn't demand the reader's sympathy; we're happy & inspired to meet a complete & competent individual. This one is more like many modern stories of the ilk - emotional scenes galore.

Fact sheet.

First published: Clarkesworld, February 2012.
Download text/audio from publisher's site.
Rating: A.
Added to my "best of 2012" list.