Not to be confused with Greg Bear’s ‘The Forge of God’ although the two will doubtless be conflated and conflabulated in my ageing grey matter. Here Elizabeth Bear looks at bio-medicine, and posits whether medicating against certain human frailties may not be a good thing. The protagonist has issues arising from a childhood accident, and her fear of risk is something that she has to overcome. She works for one of the companies in this market-space (the story is littered with transcripts of advertisements for their products) and comes across evidence of just how far this might go. I’m not a big fan of slipping in the transcripts of adverts, and haven’t been since about 1976 when I gave up my attempts at my own writing career as a 16-year old, with a story featuring just that.
But outside of that, Bear gets some insightful touches in about societal changes (some brought on by climate change), and created a multi-dimensional and believable main character.