Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Last of Lust

Short Story by Jerry Oltion

Two sexy scientists working on identifying the Lust centers of the brain, and means for selectively turning it on and off, fall into a relationship. Then a group of religious zealots steal their research and engineer a plague that will rid the human race of lust. We get to see how this effects the main characters' relationship.

The science is idiotic, especially the idea that just because you can do something with microwaves, it's possible to quickly engineer an incurable superbug that infects 100% of the human poplulation, that will have the exact same effect biochemically. But I'm probably too annoyed about this, given that it's a story about people. Still, bad science doesn't have to be obnoxiously bad. It would have been more interesting and less facile to deal with a more varied and realistic bioweapon.

Anyway, science aside, the style of the writing is sort of dull and lacking any description beyond "this happened, and then that happened" for the middle portion of the story. Still, Oltion inserts little flashes of humor that made it fun, and much more enjoyable than it could have been. And the protagonist's relationship drama was interesting, especially with the surprising form of happiness he finds. But the greater extrapolation to the general population, and the conclusions he comes to at the end seem stupid, silly, and maybe a little sexist. Really, I'd have liked the story (although I wouldn't rave about it, there was definite humor in the telling), if it weren't for the diner scene at the end, which hurt my perception of the entire piece.

2 lusty lab assistants out of 5.

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