RogerBW's Blog

We Have Always Died in the Castle, Elizabeth Bear 16 August 2018

2018 short science fiction. Marie has done something bad at work; now she's undergoing therapy by virtual reality.

This is the first part of a project by the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, working to tell stories about emerging technology. So this virtual reality isn't the generic battle game that most fictional VRs tend to be; it's a scenario set up specifically to give therapeutic benefit.

Of course, at the short story length, any benefit must feel a bit excessive relative to the amount of time spent getting it, and sometimes it comes over as facile. But it would be fair to argue that much of the point of (good) therapy is, specifically, to get people to accept things about themselves that they already knew but hadn't integrated, and that's the main thrust here.

It's not clear whether there will be further writing in this setting; this story exists mostly to provoke thought. But I wouldn't mind reading more.

Freely available via ASU.

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