A first published story from Brodski, and a good one at that.
He takes us back to the Cold War (or probably The First Cold War as it will shortly be known), but some ultra top secret experimentation going on under the Urals by the Russians. The only minor mis-step for me is that two of the Russian bit parts characters are named Ivan and Boris, a bit stereotypical, but the main character, Marya Kovanich, is a woman, struggling with the break up of her same-sex relationship, and moreso with the offspring of that relationship, as Marya tries repeatedly to resolve the issue that is causing the multiply cloned daughter from dying.
There’s drama as the scientific complex comes under attack from first the British, then the Americans, and Brodski neatly looks at the attitudes of those countries, and at Russia’s to the nature of the elite, to ideological commitments to different evolutionary theories, and how this will affect their countries. (And in the case of the 007-like British spy, his use of the big red ‘Self Destruct’ button).
Brodski packs some detail and some depth of the type you rarely see in a first published story, which bodes weill for the future. To be honest if I’d read this, and Michael Bishop’s Rattlesnakes and Men without knowing which was written by which writer, I’d have guessed this was the Bishop story, and the other was the novice writer’s story.
More from this issue here.