Posted in Short Stories

Ken Liu: Simulacrum

It’s not uncommon for science fiction stories to present the potential evils of technology – especially as it might occur for society and culture as a whole. Ken Liu’s story “Simulacrum” does just that but it also has a more intimate and familial impact. It’s one of the scarier stories I’ve read.

A father’s relationship with his daughter is damaged when he invents a simulacrum – a kind of hologram camera device combined with Artificial Intelligence. It can be used for all kinds of things, like pornography and an attempt to keep one’s daughter the way she was as a little girl after she grows up and realizes the sins of her father and his invention:

But my mother did not look into my father’s eyes the way I did when I walked in on him. It was more than a fantasy. It was a continuing betrayal that could not be forgiven.

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