Prisoner 721

Prisoner 721 by Aaron Lowry

 

I read this neat little novelette a few weeks back, and figured its merits deserve a shout-out.

Prisoner 721 is, simply put, about a restless inmate who takes it upon himself to teach his prison’s artificial intelligence system how to analyze and interpret visual art.

My favorite thing about this story – what I think makes it – is that it’s told in first-person from the perspective of the AI itself.  Exploring the internalization of a ‘mind’ like this is always a fascinating exercise in thought, and Lowry does a great job of conveying the machine point of view in a unique, believable manner (the “X% chance of Y” trope may be a bit overused, but it has its pulp charm).

The setting, primarily regarding the AI’s role and regulations, is well thought-out, so the scenario evolves in a natural way that doesn’t require sacrificing consistency or technical plausibility for the sake of the plot (a definite plus for any science fiction piece).

It’s a clever, quick, worthwhile read, and you can download it for free on Smashwords, as well as most major eBook retailers.  Check it out!

And take a closer look at that cover – how cool is that?

 

Bene scribete.

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