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There Are No Comets Seen

Kelsey Brickl’s masterful novella, There Are No Comets Seen, constructs a riveting narrative set against the backdrop of a dystopian future. The story grapples with our present-day anxieties about an increasingly automated world, where artificial intelligence (AI) has supplanted most jobs, relegating the majority to subsist on the “Minimum Allotment,” a basic income that merely skirts the poverty line.

Brickl employs this dystopian canvas to explore complex themes such as wealth disparity, the concentration of power within capitalist structures, and the societal implications of AI domination through the lens of the fictional Apstemia corporation, the creators and purveyors of the omnipresent AI technology, Brickl probes into the human repercussions of a society where AI not only permeates work but also companionship, service, and even childhood.

Brickl’s storytelling excels in its captivating prose and seamless flow. The narrative is skillfully constructed, with poignant descriptions that transport the reader directly into this stark future. In addition, the characters are robustly fleshed out, fostering an emotional investment that enhances the resonance of the story’s themes.

There Are No Comets Seen is not just an exploration of our future; it reflects the present, rendering it highly relevant in today’s tech-driven landscape. Beyond its musings on AI, the book also delves into pressing social issues like population growth, poverty, hunger, and the essence of human connection.

Brickl skillfully weaves the narrative through the lives of various characters, each providing a unique perspective on the implications of this technological upheaval. The climax, a significant plot twist, uncovers the interconnectedness of the characters who, unbeknownst to them, have transcended mortality through AI, becoming digital avatars. This revelation underlines the chilling indifference of the profit-driven corporation that manufactured this AI technology toward individual human lives.

Three moons hovered in the twilight sky. “What is this place?” Keza gasped and turned to see a girl, a spindly little girl standing beside her. The girl dragged her foot along the grass and whispered, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” p.33

Brickl’s captivating style and nuanced characters make There Are No Comets Seen an engrossing read. The narrative flow is deftly managed, and exploring thought-provoking themes and ideas is commendable. Brickl has created an absorbing tale that holds the reader’s interest from start to finish. Should further stories emerge from this dystopian future, they would be eagerly anticipated.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B0C2BJ29QK

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