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Review: Declaration by James Patrick Kelly

2 Jul 2015, 01:25 UTC
Review: Declaration by James Patrick Kelly
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Spoiler alert: I give away events unfolding in Kelly's story. It appeared in the March 2014 edition of Isaac Asimov."Declaration" is a thought provoking extrapolation of existing trends. In the style of Spinrad, I will use this review as an excuse to jump up on a soapbox and deliver my own opinions.In this tale more and more people are dwelling in softtime. Softime is what today's internet might evolve into, a shared online virtual reality. Depending on sophistication of interface, the virtual reality can be fully immerseive.A significant part of the population are severely disabled and can't interact with the world using their meat bodies. These disabled people are known as stash. They are more or less stashed in coffin like life support cubicles.The government mandates that everyone spend an allotted time in hardtime, a.k.a. reality. Stash revolutionaries want to spend all of their existence in softtime. The story title Declaration refers to the revolutionaries' Declaration of Independence. They want to sever their connections with hardtime.But would the revolutionaries become independent of hardtime? In Kelly's story, that's not clear. Are the stash dependent parasites or do they provide services and do meaningful work? Robots are ubiquitous in the story but ...

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