EV­ery­thiNg Be­loNgs to the Fu­ture Pros­per and live long

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 18 OC­TO­ber 114 pages | Pa­per­back/ebook

au­thor lau­rie Penny Pub­lisher Tor.com

In John Wyn­d­ham’s Trou­ble With Lichen, a chem­i­cal’s dis­cov­ered that pro­longs hu­man life­span; the sci­en­tist gives it to (well off ) women to en­able them to live longer lives and there­fore do more than sim­ply marry and raise chil­dren.

In this novella, an­other fun­gus pro­vides the “fix” that ex­tends life, but the fo­cus is more on the po­lit­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions of the dis­cov­ery: rich fam­i­lies stay young for decades longer, while the poor see no ben­e­fits. Un­der­cover in­ves­ti­ga­tor Alex is em­bed­ded with a group of ac­tivists com­mit­ted to spread­ing the ben­e­fits of the fix a lit­tle more widely, but a chance en­counter with the for­ever-14 cre­ator of the drug leads to po­ten­tially deadly pos­si­bil­i­ties.

It’s not all class war­fare and ac­tivism though, with trans era­sure, the ethics of de­ceit­ful re­la­tion­ships and more all mak­ing an ap­pear­ance. This is a skil­fully told story do­ing what SF does best – ex­am­in­ing the so­cial con­se­quences of sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies – but it never quite hits the mark, with the right­eous anger at times over­whelm­ing the story and char­ac­ters. Rhian Drinkwa­ter

Penny’s per­sona on her old blog, Penny Red, was in­spired by Ye­lena Rossini, from the comic Trans­metropoli­tan.

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