2 of 5 stars.
Art and how it’s perceived changes over time and in how it interacts with the observer and the observer’s experience. Some art embraces these qualities and likewise changes over time forcing it to be differently perceived.
This futuristic tale shows a new form of art, Evolutive Painting, and one particular collector of it. Evolutive art changes in a couple ways. 1) It reacts to the observer(s) in subtle ways. The more observers, the more chaotic the changes. 2) It changes by leaning into a series of closely related but different realities and universes.
Two competitive collectors come head-to-head if not face-to-face (due to Greshmenn’s decades-long reclusive tendencies). One day Greshmenn is solicited by a man that wants him to rate and review a vast collection of thousands of pieces of Evolutive Art. The individual pieces start to react off of each other and the collector . . .
Much of how the world works is left unexplained. The characters and plot are a means to an end, there merely to create the final scene with its dramatic shift to a new POV.
This tale appears in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2016 edited by Rich Horton, which I received directly from Prime Books.
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