4 May 2009

"ALL IN": SF Short Story Review

Read it now : ALL IN
Author : Peter Atwood
Published : Weird Tales
Genre : Science Fiction
Word Count : 2,200 approx

This is not the only story about people gambling for body parts. Nor is it the only story about people gambling for their lives. The idea behind this story is that there is a cure for cancer. The process is not a nice one, though. It involves growing a culture in living tissue. The catch is that the donor must be genetically distant. That is to say, the patient can't use one of their own body parts, and donations from blood relatives are of no use.

The treatment is considered unethical. People use it, however, but they have to get hold of the living tissue themselves. With no friends and no money, some people turn to gambling for the parts.

This says something rather eerie about Human nature. The logical thing would be for a group of strangers to form an agreement and supply each other with the necessary tissue, thus getting around the issue of money for medicine and avoiding the wait for a newly deceased organ donor. However, no one in Atwood's world is going to give anything away. They only know about competition, about winners and losers. They enter secret, seedy dives and they gamble.

Read it here.

Morva Shepley

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