“Bring Me to Life” by Susan M. Sailors and “The Thirteenth Labor” by Simon Kewin

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“Bring Me to Life” by Susan M. Sailors    
“The Thirteenth Labor” by Simon Kewin       
A biomedical researcher sets out to study a two hundred-year-old perfectly preserved corpse in Susan M. Sailors’sBring Me to Life.” The beautiful corpse belongs to Morgan Ward, whom Howard, the scientist, apparently desires only for the secrets her body holds. Her inevitable awakening forces Howard to confront the eternal male question: with which organ should I think?

“Bring Me to Life” raises a few questions, most interesting of which is the nature of Morgan herself. Although Sailors answers this in the end, she leaves other questions hanging. Why has Morgan lain dormant for two centuries, and why does she choose to remain awake now? What will her existence be like in this world? She is a far more interesting character than Howard, yet we’re given only a small taste of her.

Ultimately, “Bring Me to Life” felt like a story that didn’t know what it wanted to be: subtle erotic horror story? Poignant tale of unrequited love? Both the ideas and the characters needed further development to produce a well-rounded tale.

Publisher: Jupiter World Press (July 2006)
eBook Price: $1.49

ImageSimon Kewin’sThe Thirteenth Labor” has the feel of Golden Age Science Fiction. The Heracles is an AI-controlled craft conducting an orbital survey of Mars. One of its probes detects an anomaly: a collection of five rocks, rearranged by some unknown agent to suggest the constellation Orion. This observation causes the Heracles to embark on a voyage of discovery, one which touches upon the nature and scale of intelligence.

The story has a nostalgic feel many will enjoy. The sensitive, empathetic personality of the AI also serves a treat; I found myself wondering if a human explorer would behave in as rational (and altruistic) a fashion. Kewin hasn’t broken any new ground with the ideas he raises in “The Thirteenth Labor,” but he provides a fine journey nonetheless.

Publisher: Jupiter World Press (July 2006)
eBook Price: $1.25