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Peter Watts - CollateralNow, finally available to read without having to buy a collection with some much more questionable content - I present you with what I feel to be a classic Peter Watts 'Military SF' (this definitely deserves the quotes with Peter) story Collateral.

This was originally published in the collection Upgraded, edited by Neil Clarke, but was now also re-published in Lightspeed Magazine and is also available from Peter's own Rifters site.

It is a stand-alone story following an augmented soldier after she has killed a number of apparent civilians on a fishing trip (on an ecologically dead sea...), which turned into a political shitstorm and could not be swept under the carpet. So now her assignment is to play along in damage limitation activities in the public eye, whilst her reflexes, her ethics, her morals, and other parts of her personality involved in battlefield engagements are being 'optimised'. It's not pretty, it has its surprises, and it is very well done.

This has strong echoes of both Malak (Peter's story of Drone warfare and free will) and of his anti-hero Achilles Desjardins from his Starfish trilogy - both of which I strongly recommend to read if you haven't done so.

The amazing picture on the right comes from Staffprod Staffpub via a Pinterest collection. 

Links: Peter Watts - Collateral - Upgraded - Lightspeed Magazine - Staffprod Staffpub


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