Old Media by Annalee Newitz

Old Media by Annalee Newitz
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Annalee Newitz’s Old Media: A Tor.com Original, tells the story of a freed slave and a robot professor, trying to figure out what it means to be in love while they watch old anime from the 21st century.

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The world building was handled well. All of the characters lived in a society that was very different from our own. For example, not all of the animals that are alive today were necessarily still around in the 2100s when this took place. These changes altered the way people thought about themselves, the environment, and the place they lived in. I can’t say much else without giving away spoilers, but I really liked seeing how all of these changes added up to some huge gaps in cultural knowledge and the development of new areas of knowledge between our century and their own. The author did a great job tying all of these things together even if the individual differences wouldn’t seem to necessarily be stuff that should have a big impact at first.

I would have liked to see more conflict in this story. There wasn’t a lot of it, and what did exist was resolved pretty early on in the plot. This made it tricky for me to remain interested in reading what would happen next because I never really worried about the characters or wondered if they’d be okay in the end.

John was such an intriguing main character. His backstory was developed beautifully, and I appreciated the fact that the reader didn’t get to hear most of it until he’d had a chance to charm us with his playful approach to life and romance. He’d been through so much that it was pretty interesting to compare who he currently was with the person he’d been many years before. I enjoyed having the chance to do exactly this.

Old Media should be read by anyone who has ever wondered what parts of our modern society might still be studied a few centuries from now.

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