Review of Laura Duerr, “Perennial”, in David G. Clark, Callum Colback, Joe Butler, and Alex Hareland, eds., Beneath Strange Stars, (TL;DR Press, 2020): 221-226 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
The best near-future/dystopia is the sort that seems so plausible, you half expect it to already be true. Even though we don’t currently have body mods like MalibuGlow or enlarged irises or GentleTone arms, they’re all plausible enough, and once you entertain the idea of cosmetic body mods then it’s an easy hop, skip, and a jump to government-required, industrial mods for manual labor, the sort you get when your “parents were either critically ill, dead, absent, or in so much debt that their only solution was to enroll their daughter in a government work program and have her transformed into a machine” (p. 223). A scarily realistic story, softened by some really likeable characters.