In a slightly futuristic world where rules have been adopted for the regulation of clones, but cloning’s still restricted to tissues and organs, the super-intelligent Zarra awakes from a coma and tries to find her lost memories. Married to a man she can’t love, tied to a job that surely can’t be as important as finding herself, she struggles against the rules and regulations of her counselor and chases eagerly after clues. The story’s short and the telling’s fast in Shannon McRoberts’ The Secret of Genetic Corp X, and you might guess the secret faster than the protagonist. But that doesn’t matter. The interest’s in her search for answers and what she might do with them, and some pleasing twists await on the way. Nicely imagined, this story is best and fastest in its action scenes. The dialog sometimes slows it down as a tool for conveying information, but this world’s worth more tales and this Blade-Runner like novella’s an enjoyable beginning. Disclosure: The author is touring with a fascinating collection of novels and novellas, and I’m looking forward to reading more.
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