Some good works here in an anthology assembled from the British magazine, NEW WORLDS:
· “The White Leopard” by Michael Swanwick. A lonely drone operator — and this drone is not your ease-of-flying variety but a walking, deadly robot that can search and destroy — meets another operator. Did the operator meet his match? Some playful challenges descend into a relationship, with all the jealousy, betrayals and infidelities that ensue.
· “Three Conversations with G.O.D.” by James Lovegrove. Dexter Wilson, who remains deeply suspicious of all technology, especially artificial intelligence, has conversations with a world-transformative AI called the Global Omniscient Drive, or G.O.D. G.O.D. makes improvements to the world order where and when it can. But G.O.D. is deeply puzzled, flabbergasted even, by humanity’s stubbornness to accept AI, and decides it doesn’t want to stick around in the growing cesspool of human endeavors.
· “Stuff” by Ian R. MacLeod. A tale of a hoarder. Is one mother’s collection of stuff, seemingly everywhere in her house, somehow coming alive?
· “Dodging Dementia” by John Grant. Old and feeling the cumulative effects of aging, Harry Crayborn is taking his daily walk around a nearby pond when, in the middle of the path, centered in front of him, are three curious objects: a $12 bill with the face of an unknown U.S. president, a book that contains letters he does not recognize and an Apple-style watch. What are these items? And who left them for Harry to see? Were they accidentally dropped by a pedestrian and abandoned? Harry wonders: should I take the potential lost-and-found items to the police barracks? Instead, he places the watch on his wrist — and quickly realizes he can’t remove it. This is a gorgeous story about growing old, the strangeness of time and an even-more-deepening mystery: what is the significance of the number displayed on the watch when he finds it, 53,982, and counting down by 1 each day? A reminder of the days he has left? Did a future Harry Crayborn leave the items for himself?