My Last Bringback • 2015 • SF novelette by John Barnes


Synopsis: Layla Palemba’s parents wanted to save the human race and brought their daughter the normal way instead of modifying her genetically like everyone else. So, she is one of the last „natches“, which she resents hatefully, because she won’t live as long, healthy, beautiful, intelligent like the „nubrids“ of her generation:

Privacy was too important, human rights were too important, the fucking right of fucking jackass parents to raise children no better than themselves was paramount.

Now, she is a recognized expert in curing Alzheimer, and currently working on the tenth and last patient: herself.

Review: The mysterious and somewhat disorienting internal dialogue with another form of herself is resolved only later on. Initially, I thought of cloning or something similar, but it is completely different and I really liked the solution. Also, the slow disclosure of Layla’s real sociopathic nature was handled great. Barnes managed to bring a different, dense view to ideology confronted by transhumanity.

It is always a pleasure to read stories from Barnes, e.g. his excellent contribution to Edge of Infinity, Swift as a Dream and Fleeting as a Sigh.

Meta: isfdb. This SF short story appeared 2015 in Meeting Infinity.


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