Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful

384p. Delacorte. Dec. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780525580959.
RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—This collection of six short science fiction stories is wonderfully imaginative and disturbingly taps into a future that is very possible. Each of the entries explores a conceivable application of human gene editing or body modification. With every subsequent vignette set a little further in time than the last, the collection as a whole paints a future history of humankind. The stories are loosely connected by elements of an evangelical religion that forms around body modification, the zealous founder of which is the only common character throughout. In the style of Netflix's Black Mirror, Dayton uses fiction to ask powerful and intriguing questions about the possibilities of real advancements in genetic science. What are the ethics of organ transplantation? What if the parents of "designer babies" aren't happy with the product? How could genetic modifications create a class system and affect a dangerous power imbalance? Who gets to make the choices? The author expertly creates a vivid world and fleshed-out characters. She adeptly moves from a tale about a sibling relationship to another about awkward teenage embarrassment and revenge and to the life of a merboy genius, and finally to a star-crossed romance set in a futuristic society that is untouched by genetic enhancements. The writing and the plotting are consistent across the collection.
VERDICT Compelling and terrifying, this volume is science fiction at its finest. Recommended for first purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing