REVIEW: “In-Flight Damage” by Sara Kate Ellis

Review of Sara Kate Ellis, “In-Flight Damage”, Analog Science Fiction and Fact May/June(2021): 54–59 (Kindle) – Purchase Here. Reviewed by John Atom.

Astrid is planning on having a “genetically corrected” child with her wife, but before she goes through with the procedure, she decides to pay a visit to her adventurous father in the seceded territory of Texas.

The story’s premise is another spin on the ideas of the film “GATTACA,” although it focuses more on relationship of the protagonist with her past (after all, the “faults” on her DNA are not necessarily inherited but the result of trauma). The plot is competently handled, allowing the connection between Astrid and her father to shine through. The story’s background – involving the secession of Texas which leads to the state’s demise – suffers from a lack of plausibility that is typical of someone who doesn’t really understand Texas. Nevertheless, the setting is mostly intended as a foil to explain the protagonists trauma, and it works well enough for that purpose.

Overall, this is an excellent story, one of this issue’s best.

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