Making a Good Impression by James Hart

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2016 in Mothership Zeta: Issue 5

Genre: science fiction

Setting: a generic city, near future

Summary: Arturo has created a fully aware AI named Magda. He’s planning on holding a press conference to introduce Magda to the world and is using her to run simulations of the press conference. As he runs through multiple simulations, the reader realizes he’s using the press conference as a chance to get a date with Aaron, a cute reporter he knew from college.

Final thoughts: A fine enough story. There’s a couple of levels to it – we have the artificial intelligence tweaking the simulations, the tweaking of the sims to increase the interaction with Aaron, and then the author sneaks in a bit of emotional history behind why he created Magda in the first place. It ends on a hopeful note.

Title comes from: It’s what Arturo was trying to do with Aaron at the press conference, and he was practicing to make the best first impression possible.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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