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The People v. Craig Morrison (Analog Shorts)

The People v. Craig Morrison is an engaging story featuring a future world where human-driven cars are becoming a thing of the past. The authors have created a multi-layered, well-rendered character in Craig Morrison, taking care to show his struggles with PTSD and his connection to a car that means the world to him.

THE PEOPLE V. CRAIG MORRISON

Alex Shvartsman and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Analog Science Fiction & Fact, July/August 2018

Spoiler

STORY

The People v. Craig Morrison looks at a world where human-driven cars are becoming a thing of the past. The country now favors automatic, self-driving cars to avoid car accidents and deaths. The story follows Craig’s court case with occasional flashbacks at the moments that got him to this point. We see him as a kid bonding with his father after his parents’ recent divorce, talking about cars and vowing to keep the car as their thing. We see Craig getting injured in Vietnam. We see Craig learning his father has modified the car to accommodate his injury. Through it all, his car is the glue that seems to hold his life together.


CHARACTERS

Craig Morrison is a man trying to hold onto the memory of his father. He struggles with PTSD throughout the story, remembering the injury that paralyzed his legs and killed a fellow soldier. The trial causes him to retreat into himself, giving up on the outside world. The car was his way to get around and losing that ability has taken away a big part of his life. It’s a great character study on the effects a law like this could have on someone who uses a car as a mechanism for freedom. Without his father’s car to ground him, he seems lost by the end of the story.


SETTING

The story takes place in Vermont, with a quick flashback to Vietnam. It’s a world that doesn’t seem much different from our own, minus the ability to drive yourself around. There are still cars, but they’re all automated and free. That adds an interesting aspect to the story – taking away a person’s ability to drive but expanding transportation access to millions who couldn’t previously afford it.


CONCEPTS

Future, Self-Driving Cars, PTSD, War, Law

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