The premise: When fed a blood sample, the machine will predict a person’s cause of death, usually in a non-straightforward way.
This anthology didn’t catch fire for me. The repeated explanation of the premise, even indirectly, became somewhat tedious. Maybe this is an anthology I’ll dig into occasionally, but it’s certainly not one I’m going to read straight through. Strike that. Considering the amount of things I want to read, I probably won’t come back to it. The stories are all very short, and out of the six I read, only one contained a character I remotely cared about.
And this is science fiction at its most simplistic: Here’s a technology. Don’t think about how it works or how it came to be, only be concerned about how people react to it. I suppose you could look at the mysteriousness of the machine as a metaphor for the singularity, but technologies don’t come into being in a vacuum.
“Flaming Marshmallow” by Camille Alexa. First person, present. Female protag.
“Fudge” by Kit Yona. Third person, past. Is every story going to explain the concept? Male protag.
“Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions” by Jeffery Wells. Third, past. No explanation! No mall! So far, my favorite. Screwy protagonist. Male portag.
“Despair” by K.M. Lawrence. First, past. This narrator doesn’t sound female to me.
“Suicide” by David Michael Wharton. Third, past. Male protag.
“Almond” by John Chernega. First, past. Written as log entries. Male protag. Second favorite. First to imply that the knowledge itself might be harmful.