Two of Six: A Captain's Dilemma by Tomohito Moriyama
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This novella mixed the complications of the basic conflicts inherent in choosing who must live and who must die when resources are scarce with the Turing Test question. So let's break it down. Six people must be pared down to two on a spacecraft. The AI refuses to make the decision, leaving it to the captain.
Got it. And... it's okay. I've seen so many iterations of this in SF that I'm forced to put aside the question of originality and go for technique.
Do I feel sorry for the characters, am I invested? Unfortunately, not all that much. Some were already suicidal-ish and when we're left with a purely Utilitarian argument, all that we might have for a something cool is an AI twist since these are the two (and only) real elements in the tale.
There's nothing particularly WRONG with the novella. It does what it sets out to do and asks some primary questions, but then, it's also not fundamentally different from some of the more creative SF stories that came out in the 1930's.
For the exact same questions.
So. The story is okay. Solid but not that original.
On the other hand, this novella IS good for one thing. It has the Japanese text right next to the English translation so it works very well for students learning either language. This is a very strong selling point for all you eternal students. :)
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