10 May 2009

Read it now : "Essence of Ismay"
By Rosaleen Love
Genre: Science fiction
Word Count: 3,300 approx.

Rosaleen Love could probably be best described as an academic who sometimes writes science fiction stories that express her interest in science, the history of wrong ideas, and feminism, all of which we see in "Essence of Ismay".

Back in the 1980s Love was admired by SF fans for her ability to get published in literary magazines. I remember her saying that her good luck in getting published in those magazines was simply that she sent her stories to them.

Simple for her, maybe.

Still, she had a bunch of really enjoyable stories, such as "The Total Devotion Machine" in which some men who are scientists build a machine to look after their babies. The machine, however, totally breaks down trying to do what women are expected to do every day.

In "Essence of Ismay" she takes a humorous look at the logic of designer genes, the nurture side of the nature/nurture debate, and free will. Her website includes a published essay on the possible uses and ethics of gene technology, "Perfection as a lifestyle choice". It's an easy read and makes the studying science and ethics sound like a fun thing to do when you look at it through its history of wrong ideas.

So, enjoy "Essence of Ismay".

Read it here.

Morva Shepley

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