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OGRES is an interesting story and reminded me in some ways of Tchaikovsky’s previous novella, Elder Race. Its most distinct and notable feature is probably the second person POV. It’s executed well here.

It’s an expected book in times of CRISPR. This book asks many of the big ethical questions regarding the future of genetic modification, mainly The Big Question: what’s the limit? When we finally have the tools and means to modify and improve ourselves, where do improvements stop, and complete alterations begin? Will we ever be able to say “…and we’re done”, or just keep trying to create a “better” human?

It’s not a particularly new question, and it will get asked even more in the coming decades. For that ethical aspect alone, this is well worth reading. But another part of this novella I really liked is the similarity with Elder Race I was talking about earlier. Just like in that story, Ogres has a sort of “two perspectives” thing going on, with pseudo-medieval people living in ignorance of their futuristic dystopian overlords. It’s a trope (fantasy from one perspective vs sci-fi from the other perspective) I’ll never get tired of.

Apart from that, it’s a classic tale of starting a revolution, rebelling against your oppression, and how revolutions can snowball into something that changes society.

It’s no Elder Race (easily one of my favourite of Tchaikovsky’s novellas), but it’s a fun and thought-provoking story that juggles quite a few topics and unconventional structural choices in a well-balanced way. Recommended!

Disclaimer: I received an ARC for this book in exchange for an honest review.
G. Lowie
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Goran Lowie is an avid reader of all kinds of speculative fiction and poetry. For years, he's been rotting away in some rural hellhole in Belgium, but luckily he has literature to keep him going!

His real obsession with the genre sparked with the incomporable works of Ursula K. Le Guin, and his heart stayed there forever. Other favourite authors include Patricia A. McKillip, Mary Soon Lee, John Wiswell, Robert Silverberg and Italo Calvino.

When Goran isn't reading books, he's either editing this very magazine or creating lesson plans for his day-job as a high school teacher! You can find him on Twitter: @GoranLowie

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