You Have Arrived At Your Destination by Amor Towles. Summer Frost by Blake Crouch.

You Have Arrived At Your Destination:

A seasoned author takes on the high-stakes business of fertility…

Sam chose to audit public utilities. He could have taken risks… like his father, who pissed away the family’s money on a copper mine. Sam spent most of his college years helping his father through that financial ruin. Now he vows not to do that to his own family.

He and his wife have made the investment by using a new fertility company that is able to shape or ‘contour’ your child. Not just enhancing one’s own genes but using an algorithm much like ‘credit score’ would, the company can predict the child’s future. Sam sits down and watches videos of three versions of his son, Daniel.

A word is not wasted in this short story. It seems as if each sentence enters into the overall meaning of this work. And there’s a great twist about 2/3s through that really adds a deeper layer. I know that there have been plenty of these types of stories. But Towles adds many pieces that create a new and fresh narrative.

Summer Frost:

I think anyone who has read a piece by Crouch would agree that his writing is made for the screen. The pacing, the visuals, the characters who are so very real. Summer Frost is no different.

Riley is a game designer for World-Play working in a high rise in downtown San Francisco. Her job is designing non-player characters in the company’s virtual realty games. Something seems off when one of the characters in their latest project becomes lost in the game environment. At first Riley thinks it’s a glitch, but after careful study, she realizes that Max is thinking for herself.

Max develops from an interesting side project for Riley’s obsession. And at a time when Riley and her wife Meredith are trying to conceive themselves, Max becomes the object of all of Riley’s nurturing.

This is another take on the reaches of AI. As always, I found Crouch’s writing to be addictive, zooming through this story in just under an hour. You definitely wanted to figure out what will come next!

Yet, I’m not sure if any new ground was covered. There’s some great discussion of philosophy and intelligences, and about the human essences, but at the end, I just wasn’t as satisfied as I thought I would be.

If you like Crouch’s work, you will definitely like this one. And someone please read it because I want to hear another’s thoughts on this one.

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