REVIEW: “Master Brahms” by Storm Humbert

Review of Storm Humbert, “Master Brahms”, Apex Magazine 114 (2018): Read Online. Reviewed by Joanna Z. Weston.

Seven versions of Master Brahms live together – six synths, or clones, and the original. Synths don’t like to think about being synths, so the original allows them each the illusion of such as much as possible. Things come to a head when six Brahms find that the seventh has been murdered by one of the remaining six, and the house computer has been compromised by whichever is the killer.

This is a satisfying closed room murder mystery. The murder is intriguing, but is also not the main point. No, the real question of this story is: which Brahms is the original? Deep down, that is the only question that matters to any of them, and the murder is just a way to bring that question into the foreground for them. I’ve read plenty of stories about clones, but I don’t recall ever seeing one about how a clone would psychologically cope with being a clone before. This is fresh, fascinating territory.