Michael Bishop. Rattlesnakes and Men. (Asimovs February 2015)

asimovs1502It’s been quite a while since I’ve read anything by Michael Bishop, and was quite looking forward to it, having seen his name on the cover.

Truth be told, I was a little disappointed, as the story has a minimal sfnal element, and the story itself didn’t really grab me. It’s set in rural Georgia, in a small community where the norm is to have gene-tweaked rattlesnakes living in the house, coded to your DNA and there to repel intruders. This sets the scene for looking in detail at the folks in the community, their attitudes, and to set up some drama.

OK the rattlesnakes can be seen as a metaphor for guns, but do we really need a metaphor to highlight the stupidity of gun ownership in the US? Well, maybe it is needed for some in the US – outside of the US, I think not as we can see it, and are repeatedly reminded of it.

More from this issue here.

21st February 2016 update : the story was nominated for a Nebula Award. Is it there because of the quality of the story, or to make a political point?

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