Ribofunk

Paul Di Filippo, Author
Paul Di Filippo, Author Running Press Book Publishers $20 (295p) ISBN 978-1-56858-062-3
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 241 pages - 978-0-380-73076-6
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-0420-7
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-1-61756-986-9
Ebook - 978-1-61756-888-6
Ebook - 295 pages - 978-1-4976-1324-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-306-58962-8
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Shifting his focus from Victorian pseudoscience to genetic engineering, two-time Nebula finalist Di Filippo follows Steampunk Trilogy (1995) with a story collection that presents a mid-21st century dominated by an awareness of the primacy of protein to all life. By linking the ""ribosome"" (producer of cell protein) to ""funk,"" the title suggests the collection's general theme: that those who create life should remain compassionately responsible for it. In these 13 stories (two original to this volume), ""basal"" humans can no longer function adequately in the world they and their ancestors have warped, and so engineered grotesques abound. The most appealing tales are ""Little Worker,"" about an amalgamation of 12 different species (including human and wolverine) that is poignantly devoted to its negligent human master; and ""McGregor,"" wherein a chain-smoking Peter Rabbit rescues an ""epcot"" full of abused ""splices"" from their sadistic human keeper. The previously unpublished stories play Krazy Kat, a charismatic human-feline splice, against an artificially hard-shelled Protein Policeman. Despite occasional obscurity, Di Filippo's effervescent prose can provoke both hilarity and haunting reflections on our species' possible fate. The best of these experimental tales, written between 1989 and 1995, keenly dissect the selfishness by which humanity may doom itself to extinction. (Apr.)
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