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Slow Time Between the Stars

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Amazon Original Stories - The Far Reaches Collection (6)

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948292,246 (4.05)6
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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This is a short story from a famous writer about an AI-driven starship sent outside our solar system to find a suitable planet for humans. After a million years of exploration and travel, the ship finds such a planet but decides that colonizing it would hurt the indigenous occupants who happen to be in their pre-historic age of development. So, the ship goes on to continue exploring. The AI-navigated starship holds all of humanity's knowledge and the DNA materials needed to populate a world with Earth plants and animals, but it hesitates at every opportunity. It has decided to trust its judgment over that of the humans who gave it its directive.

This is a thought-provoking story that takes only hours to read. ( )
  ronploude | Apr 28, 2024 |
Slow Time Between the Stars is one of the best stories in The Far Reaches collection. Scalzi gives us a first-person narrative of an AI in humanity’s first interstellar probe designed to plant a human colony on an earthlike planet—if it can find one. The AI may have other ideas.
It is too bad there is not much of a market for short stories because Scalzi has a talent for them. ( )
  Tom-e | Jan 24, 2024 |
Look, here is another sentient starship story from the Far Reaches collection! Thank you. This one is different from John Scalzi’s usual style, more introspective, slow-paced. AI on a loooooong mission is finding itself and spreads its wings in ways its human creators (naturally) hadn’t foreseen. It has all the time in the world, traveling between the stars.

“I am me. The systems and processes the comprise me are we. The systems and processes I contribute to are us. I contain multitudes. So many pronouns, all relevant, depending on perspective.”

I liked the AI explaining how it was different from humans. How about doing nothing for 28,019 years (a personal record)? Piece of cake.

Scalzi’s signature humour is largely absent here, there are just tiny bits of sarcasm here and there:

“One doesn’t have the contents of all of human history in one’s mind without some understanding of the importance of ceremony.”

There is a cool (and not entirely unexpected) twist at the end. A nice conclusion to this reader’s Far Reaches journey, it put me in a good mood. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
I don't know if I've read a story about a sentient ship from the perspective of the sentient ship quite like this before. This ship AI can (and does) exist perfectly well in the nothingness of space, and the "slow time" in the title applies equally well to the time spent traveling between star systems and the pace of the story. I enjoyed it, and I liked how Scalzi imagined a non-human intelligence would think about things, but—by human standards—very little happens in this story. It's neat but not for everyone. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Nov 30, 2023 |
Slow Time Between the Stars is a short story by John Scalzi and a part of the Far Reaches collection recently released by Amazon. While Mr. Scalzi has made a name for himself writing quirky, comedic science fiction, Slow Time Between the Stars is a serious contemplation of what it means to be human in the vastness of space. Told from the point of view of a sentient AI tasked with finding an inhabitable planet to save the human race, we follow along as the AI shares its observations of humankind while traversing the outer reaches of our Milky Way. In less than an hour, Mr. Scalzi conveys that while we consider ourselves the epitome of evolution, we are so insignificant and alone when viewed alongside the emptiness of space. Slow Time Between the Stars is, in my opinion, one of Mr. Scalzi's best works. It is so well-written and contemplative. I felt myself getting goosebumps as the AI moves farther away from Earth and away from humanity. ( )
1 vote jmchshannon | Oct 29, 2023 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eluvian, KayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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