Midnight in a Perfect World

January 5, 2012
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“Midnight in a Perfect World” by Kriston P is a twist on the science-fiction genre that is profound and lighthearted. The first-person narrator’s interaction with his robotic servant, Marvin, after having a jarring realization has you thinking about some deeper meanings in life without getting you into a gloomy mood.

Although the story takes place in the future, it is not mentioned much, as the verbatim between man and robot takes center stage. The perfectly executed dialogue puts you in the scene, and even Marvin speaks as you would imagine a computer to. The human and artificial voices are each clear and separate, and no “he said” or “she said”s bog down the story’s flow. You can imagine in your head the back and forth between the two characters as they squabble back and forth, and it establishes a clear style of writing.

The main reason I enjoyed the piece, however, was the fact that it provoked thought about human nature. Marvin’s simple quotes about complex emotions and functions (at one point he says, “I feel it is safe to conclude that touch is a requirement of love.”) make you wonder if we are really that easy to figure out. Another line in the story makes you ponder even deeper: “’So, does that mean you’ve become human or that society is too robotic?’” The piece never feels depressing or sad, though, which is why it is such a good read. “Midnight in a Perfect World” makes you wonder what that “perfect world” really is.

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