Saturday, January 26, 2019

Review - Small Offerings

Small Offerings
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Date: 2007
Publisher: Tor
Reading level: A
Book type: short story
Pages: 8
Format: e-book

Readouts glow blue on driplines where they burrow into Maya Ong’s spine. She lies on the birthing table, her dark eyes focused on her husband while I sit on a stool between her legs and wait...

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Well, that was terrifying. Not because it was overly gory or disturbing... but because it's so plausible.

This story takes place in a world that's so polluted that having a baby is a worrying undertaking; the resulting children suffer from all sorts of defects due to the toxins in the environment. It appears that modern medicine has come up with a solution, but it brings with it ethical and religious complications.

I read Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker years ago, and was impressed then by the quality of his writing. I didn't even notice the writing here, which is an indication (for me) that it was quite strong.

This is a creepy, disturbing story about our potential future if we don't clean up our acts. Nobody wants the type of "prenatal care" these future mothers are getting.

Quotable moment:

All around us, Dmitri’s test subjects scamper, shrieking and warring, an entire tribe of miscalibrated humanity, all gathered together under Dmitri’s care. If I key in patient numbers on my belt unit, I get MedAssist laundry lists of pituitary misfires, adrenal tumors, sexual malformations, attention and learning disorders, thyroid malfunctions, IQ fall-offs, hyperactivity and aggression. An entire ward full of poster-children for chemical legislation that never finds its way out of government committee.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 3/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.86 out of 5 ladybugs

No comments:

Post a Comment