*** The Next Scene – Robert Reed
Our alien overlords have taken over – and demanded to be entertained by humanity. Those who are deemed interesting are rewarded with regular deposits into their bank accounts. The new system is, of course, wholly run by the unseen extraterrestrials.
It makes sense that in the new order, trained actors have a natural leg up over the rest of us… but that’s just the beginning of the implications here.
**** Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home – Genevieve Valentine
More traditionally sci-fi than I expected from Valentine, but I also think this might be my favorite piece that I’ve read from her so far. The epistolary format of the story presents missives from the different members of a research team stationed on ‘Themis.’ But not all is as it seems…
Adventure sci-fi morphs into an exploration of ethics concerning new technology, and it’s done quite well. Close to 5 stars, but the mix of p.o.v.s seemed a bit unbalanced, and the end didn’t have quite the emotional impact it was intended to, for me at least. Still, an excellent SF offering.