Book Review: Summer Frost by Blake Crouch

Summer Frost by Blake Crouch
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories

"Why did you kill your husband?" I ask. "Not husband. Oscar kill Max with knife two thousand thirty-nine times."

I'm by no definition a gamer but I am one who enjoys Blake Crouch's writing. I loved this! If not for a true terminus of an ending, I could have read a full-length novel of this story. Max, a NPC (non-playing character) breaks out of their programming (I suppose being murdered 2039 times is a grim but good teacher) and sets out on a course that their maker and mentor never saw coming. I'm giving no spoilers (it's short, go read it!) but will say this had a lot to say about humans good and bad.

This is the second story I've read this year that has an AI (view spoiler) I am unsettled.

Here's to Max, the expendable NPC who shouldn't have survived the prologue, but wound up writing the epilogue for the world. Glitch, indeed.

This was easily & by far, my favourite of all the stories in this series. Highly recommended.

A couple of my favourite quotes:

">>>Good morning, Max.>>> Hello, Riley.>>> What have you done since our last session?>>> Max read 895,013 books."

"In the end, all we have is math."

Summary: A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Timesbestselling author of Recursion.
Maxine was made to do one thing: die. Except the minor non-player character in the world Riley is building makes her own impossible decision—veering wildly off course and exploring the boundaries of the map. When the curious Riley extracts her code for closer examination, an emotional relationship develops between them. Soon Riley has all new plans for her spontaneous AI, including bringing Max into the real world. But what if Max has real-world plans of her own?
Blake Crouch’s Summer Frost is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

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