Sci-fi and Heroic Fantasy discussion

War Stories from the Future
This topic is about War Stories from the Future
16 views
War Stories from the Future > "ANTFARM" by August Cole

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is our discussion of the short story....

"ANTFARM" by August Cole

From the scifi anthology War Stories from the Future, part of our discussion of War Stories from the Future. (The entire collection is available free online in several formats.)


Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Was the intent here to get the reader to root for the drone swarm? That's where I ended up. And also, maybe wishing it might go after the author for writing entirely in codenames.


message 3: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2270 comments I gave the story 4 stars. The crowd sourcing intelligence & the fickle public mind.


Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Jim wrote: "I gave the story 4 stars. The crowd sourcing intelligence & the fickle public mind."

Ha, I found the exact opposite. Hated the story.


message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 14, 2016 07:46AM) (new)

Brendan wrote: "Was the intent here to get the reader to root for the drone swarm? That's where I ended up. And also, maybe wishing it might go after the author for writing entirely in codenames."

I was of two minds about this story.

On the one hand, the basic idea of crowd sourcing intelligence and military decisions is clever, in a parody context. On the other hand, as an exercise in simple storytelling, as Brendan observed, the author is a little too intent on burying us under military jargon, trying too hard to make us actually hear the static and limited audio range of the radio chatter in his writing.

"Crowd sourcing" doesn't have a single agreed-upon definition. On one hand, you can present a problem to a large number of people, hoping to pick up some new ideas or insights; that isn't the same as opening up decisions to a democratic vote. Cole consciously conflates the two.


Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments It's also terrible OPSEC to involve so many people in an operation.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) Jim wrote: "I gave the story 4 stars. The crowd sourcing intelligence & the fickle public mind."

That was my thought also. I did enjoy the story - it was one of my favorites in the anthology. The military jargon didn't bother me.


message 8: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael | 152 comments I found it an interesting technical idea using "crowd sourcing" to perform tactical and intelligence analysis. On the other hand the problem of injecting public opinion and emotions into a mitary control loop resulted in what seems an unsurprising catastrophic failure.


back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

War Stories from the Future (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

August Cole (other topics)