Benjamin Crowell. Kill Switch. (Asimovs, July 2012)

Crowell opens the story with an opening line that intrigues and covers a lot of what the story is about : “Jo was in the middle of a saxophone solo when she made the decision to go phenotypically male”. It’s a story set in the relatively-near future, but far enough in our future to have ethanol-stations rusting along the side of deserted highways.

Genetic engineering in utero is the norm, hence Jo’s musical ability (dear me, if the future if jazz, stop the world this old punk wants to get off….). And as the opening line indicated, people have a lot of choices.

Jo goes male, shacks up with Chris (you’ll have to read the story to work out Chris’ gender), and the pair of them look at options in having a baby – what modifications should they go for, in the light of their mods not having been entirely successful. In settling in the countryside, Jo begins to reduce his meds and begins to question a lot, and, like a recent Crowell story in Asimovs (review here) this story also ends abruptly!

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