Sunday, December 27, 2009


Novelette by Shane Tourtellotte

Andrew and Alice are adults whose parents engineered them to stop physically maturing during childhood. They have traded adult bodies (and sexual maturity) for extreme longevity and mental agility. But the rest of society has done a typically poor job of accepting this new minority group. Andrew is a civil rights activist when he isn't at work, while Alice lives and works from home with her parents, who shelter her, perhaps too much. They become romantically involved, and each try to change the other. Andrew thinks Alice is naive and childish, Alice thinks Andrew overcompensates for his young appearance and provokes conflict. Andrew is about as good with women as I am, which is to say: not.

On the long end of novelette length, this is maybe 2 pages shorter than the shorter novellas. So there is sufficient room to explore the changes that have been made to the world in great detail through the story of Alice and Andrew's relationship. In addition to social prejudice, sexuality, pedophilia and rape are dealt with, so this is rather un-childfriendly although not graphic. But it is very emotional and the ending is sweet. Almost entirely human interaction, all of it with a rare degree of warmth makes this an uncommon SF story. 4.5 out of 5.

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