Short Fiction: White Swan by Jason Stoddard
When discussing short fiction, I’m less wary of spoilers if the text is available to read for free online. Go read White Swan before reading my thoughts.
After reading Border Guards the other day, I’m struck by how well the work as companion pieces. Border Guards, because of its far future post humanity artificial universe setting would never have been touched by Futurismic, in which you can read White Swan as I just did. However, in many ways they deal with the exact same issue. What happens when we, as a race, put the whole death issue behind us.
Border Guards looks back on the transition that led to 10^16 immortal humans in a utopic far future, where as White Swan tosses us directly into the middle of the transition. (Interestingly that’s something Chris suggests when talking about submitting fiction to futurismic) Both stories weigh out optimistic, but White Swan gets there with a trip through quite a bit more darkness.
This isn’t all that in depth of an analysis, but it was pretty awesome to see two stories that basically diverged because of different mathematical models. What do you get when you plug immortality both into a function with exponential growth and a function with logarithmic decay. I guess a lot depends on the initial conditions.