A first story in Asimov’s from Monaghan.
A scientist working with some very leading-edge alien medical tech uses his contacts to get his sister’s leg replaced, and to get her off drugs. We are introduced to her as a ‘low-rent hooker’ in the opening sentence. He has issues of his own, and between them, and their estranged father, there’s a lot of history and a lot of distance.
The story focusses on the relationship between the siblings, and how the treatment does/does not help matters. The alien tech is fairly marginal, although the ease at which a replacement leg is grown and grafted onto her stump is ridiculously quick. And humorous, in terms of having all this alien hi-tech but also having a nurse ”..draw lines on Jenni’s stump, marking out where the new leg would be fitted..’ which gave me the mental image of two big arrows in felt-tip pen pointing to the stump with ‘FIX NEW LEG HERE’ in big letters.
Anyhoo, the story addresses their relationship, their shortcomings individually, and there’s a girlfriend thrown into the equation, and (spoiler alert) it all ends quite upbeat, having been leading towards a less positive ending until the last half-page. So props to Monaghan for investigating the human side and not the technology side of things.
More from this issue of Asimov’s here.