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From Darkest Skies

by Sam Peters

The timeless driver of grief resolution is frissoned by the SF setting into the ethical issues of recreating a lost loved one by AI and cybernetics. There are twists to SF commonplaces: the aliens have departed leaving humanity no wiser as to why mass genocide and exile to barely habitable planets was inflicted on them. Life on Magenta has quite a Wild West feel, the baddies are very Bondish, and it's risky to use a Potterian invisibility cloak.

Extract

On Earth I'd come to know a lot more about Entropists than I cared to. Loki aside, they were something of a joke on Magenta, but on Earth they were the real deal, a cult dedicated to some skewed vision of the Masters and calling them the New Entropic Gods. The fact that the Masters had never given a a sign of even trying to communicate had left everyone all the more desperate to work out who they were and what they wanted by looking at what they'd actually done. The Entropists had come to the same conclusion most of the rest of us had - that it simply made no sense - only, while what most of the rest of us then did was get on with our lives regardless, Entropists took the Masters as a sign of how humanity was supposed to evolve and did things at random. They had more factions than South American Marxists, and some of them went the way of doing random nice things, but the big cults that made the news veered towards destruction. Then there were the Lokis and the Retrogrades, Entropists who were anti-technologists and mostly just blew things up.

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