Redstone Science Fiction #2
“Michelangelo‘s Chisel” by Christopher Miller
Reviewed by Frank Dutkiewicz
The protagonist in “Michelangelo‘s Chisel” can see into the future. His story begins as a psych student in 1969. Late for an exam, he gets lost in the maze that is the Psychology building (funny he couldn’t foresee that). Realizing he’s too late to take the test, he ends up at a renowned computer scientist’s lecture. He soon inserts himself uninvited into the professor’s class and proceeds to prophesy the future of computer intelligence.
The protagonist’s prophesying power in “Michelangelo‘s Chisel” shares symptoms with a mental disease. I would imagine such a person in the late 60s would have been quickly committed. I just couldn’t buy that his outbursts in the middle of the lecture would be tolerated no matter how understanding the professor was. Additionally, while the protagonist’s gift was very impressive — his ability to know any random person’s future in an instant–he fails to do anything to alter the course of future catastrophes (such as the attack of 9/11).
I was impressed by Christopher Miller’s writing talent. He has a smooth way of telling a story and does an excellent job of putting the reader inside the protagonist’s head. However, he goes overboard on colorful similes, almost as if he’s showing off his skill at constructing prose.
Despite these issues, “Michelangelo‘s Chisel” was a good story.
Redstone Science Fiction can be found online at http://redstonesciencefiction.com. Issues are available for free download as PDFs or can be read online.