And, in the thick of these mysterious flash fictions, here’s DrugTech, and several stories about scientists engineering brain transplants, discovering proof that the soul exists, possibly manipulating time and space with “Trans Warp Inducer”—and hinting that maybe not everyone’s actually human. The stories touch on con artists, barristers, felons, astronauts, nuns, and more. The strongest reveal their genre and premise at a climactic point, pulling the rug from under the reader and some of the characters, who often discover their existence to be stranger than they had expected.
By the third part, characters have begun to recur, the stories now more like chapters in a novel, revealing a broader narrative about DrugTech, Trans Warp Inducers, and—this makes sense in context—the naval fleet of the Ottoman Empire. The structure might prove more engaging if the characters were more memorable or vividly rendered; they don’t always ring a bell when readers re-encounter them hundreds of pages later. Still, while unwieldy, The DrugTech Trilogy offers a high level of invention and disquieting scenarios.
Takeaway: A twisty, SF-touched pharma thriller told in eclectic short stories with unsettling and surprising premises.
Great for fans of: The Future Is Short: Science Fiction In A Flash, Lauren Beukes.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: B-