Acadie

Dave Hutchinson. Tor.com, $3.99 e-book (96p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9825-3
Hutchinson’s elegant novella deals with the effects of technology and genetic engineering on politics, lifestyle, and identity. Duke Faraday is president of a renegade Earth colony governed at a distance by the Writers, a group of genetic engineers who have been on the run from Earth authorities for 500 years, and populated primarily by the Kids, the descendants of those they genomically manipulated. When a radioactive probe, presumably sent by Earth’s Bureau of Colonization, unexpectedly infiltrates the colony’s defense grid, Duke and his team must quickly organize an evacuation of the two million inhabitants without putting the colony at further risk of discovery. With a light touch on the science and society, Hutchinson (Europe in Winter) creates a world that is not terribly far from our own, with the benefits and drawbacks of genome sequencing affecting perception and reality. The fluidity of the flashbacks ensures that the revelations throughout enhance the larger conversation without distracting from it. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2017
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