Sean Monaghan. The Molenstraat Music Festival. (Asimovs September 2015)

asimovs1509The issue closes with a story that is has lot of sfnal background to it, but the crux of the story is minimally sfnal.

A millennia or so in the future, a rich, somewhat reclusive and curmudgeonly man living in an idyllic spot on a distant, lowly populated planet, ponders whether as he is now suffering from arthritis quite badly, he should undergo the clever micro surgery and genetic tweaking that has been popular for some time. There’s little in the way of any reason not to, unlike the young girl who turns up with the mother at the door, seeking his help. The daughter is a masterful cellist, but a recent accident has caused her to have lapses in concentration whilst playing. She could undergo similar surgery, but there is a risk of that interfering with what makes her a musical prodigy. Does she want to remain a flawed genius, or take the surgery and risk becoming simply competent?

The story is OK, but doesn’t quite grab, and the ending is probably as you would expect, and would probably benefit from a bit more exploration after the issue is resolved to balance the lengthy run up to it.

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