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The Prospect of My Arrival by Dwight Okita
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

liked it
Read from June 13 to 25, 2012

The initial idea of having a Pre-born experience life and relationships to evaluate whether to be born is innovative. The device of getting an outsider's take on aspects of the human condition is made more telling because the 'outsider' is in fact no alien but a potential human.
Although the idea has real possibilities it seems poorly thought through and badly developed. The science is so shallow it is impossible to suspend disbelief enough. The CyberSavant implanted microchip alone would render the objective nature of the experiment questionable and Dr Mesmer's opening reasons for the project have no scientific validity. There is no question that Mr Okita has the writing tools, but this story has other problems.
Firstly the tone of voice is somewhat monotonous and none of the characters come across as individuals or have distinct personalities beyond the superficial. For instance, Dr Mesmer (the research scientist) prepares a mid-point report which is utterly unscientific and imprecise in its language - "Fairly life-affirming", "spend some days", "was probably most successful", "the jury's still out on this", and so on.
Multiply this blandness by the number of characters and it is a hard tale to get through, which is a shame because observation and insight are evident and something more down-to-earth might reveal the obvious talent.
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