I’m delighted to announce that my short story “Love Engine Optimization” (originally in Lightspeed Magazine). will appear in Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition. This is my second ever Year’s Best inclusion (the first is for “The Last Novelist” which also came out in 2017). I get to share this amazing table of contents with Rich Larson, Charlie Jane Anders, Suzanne Palmer, Samuel R. Delany, Michael Swanwick, Maureen McHugh, Tobias Buckell, Kameron Hurley, Sofia Samatar, Yoon Ha Lee, Linda Nagata, Sarah Pinsker, and so many others.
I’m glad this story got noticed, and not just because it’s been included in a year’s best. The story concerns the overwhelming amount of data collected on individuals, often without our awareness. It seemed to me that people were (and still are) too comfortable giving up their personal data for a bit of convenience. And it seemed to me that often people had (and still have) no idea what was/is being collected on them and how it might be used. “Love Engine Optimization” is my attempt to show what one pernicious actor might do with access to such data. If one person can do this much harm, imagine what powerful nation states might do with all this information. The more technology becomes integrated into our lives, the greater the potential that technology might be used against us in malicious ways.
I work in IT. I see technology daily bringing immense benefit to the world. But it can also cause great harm if we don’t consider how it might be abused.
If you’d like to hear me discuss more about “Love Engine Optimization,” you may want to check out the Alan & Jeremy vs. SF podcast episode where I was invited on to speak about the story.