Search Engine

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Rosenblum, Mary. "Search Engine." Originally published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact in 2005.[1] Anthologized Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology, James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, editors (San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2007).[2]

Mentioned in Sandor Klapcsik's review of the anthology in SFRA Review #284 (Spring 2008): pp. 15-16, who notes that in “Search Engine,” "the sleuth of cyberpunk film noir investigates the data flow in a future world where chips record all details and AIs run the most complicated search programs, but PIs are still needed because 'intuition mattered — the ability to look behind the numbers and sense the person behind them'” (377). [...]¶¶[3]

Reviewed more fully by Alex Willging, in his series on the stories in Rewired, 23 August 2012.[4]

Aman is a profiler, a private investigator who specializes in tracking people through their ID chips, Internet history, and every purchase they’ve ever made, electronic or otherwise. [* * *]

Domestic surveillance is nothing new in fiction, let alone in the grim world of cyberpunk. However, this story is interesting because it actually looks into a very modern phenomenon: that, thanks to the Internet, we’re more open about what we’re doing because all our electronics and digital technology are now more interconnected. As much as we worry about government intrusion, there are so many ways that anyone can track us through online activity, credit card purchases, and a dozen other ways that rely on electronic media [that] Profilers like Aman can just run our names through a search engine and come up with all kinds of stuff.[5]

See for motif of surveillance, from We and Nineteen Eighty-Four on, to, say, THE CIRCLE (film).

RDE, finishing, 8Jan21