The Last Flight of Doctor Ain • 1969 • SF short story by James Tiptree, Jr.

★★1/2

Dr. Ain is an epidemiologist in love with a mystical female Earth. He spreads a designed leukemia virus which will whipe out humanity by flying around the world and using his own body as a carrier.

Review

The story reads like a CIA operative report – given Alice Sheldon’s background as a founding member of the CIA, it feels authentic. But I didn’t understand who was investigating, because humanity will have been whiped out. The author presents a dystopian future in only a couple of spread-in pictures. It is a very dense story packed in only seven pages.

Meta: ISFDB. First published Galaxy Magazine, March 1969. I read it in the collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever.

 

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