This is a short story not a novella because its just 45 pages long.
Even though its a short story, its a very disturbing story because its about human beings playing God through genetic modification !
The following excerpt says it all – “Vitek had combined the decoding of the human genome and recent advances in behavioural science not simply to help couples become pregnant but to give them some influence over the intelligence and temperament of their child.”
I learnt a new word – genetic nudging, but I don’t think I like where that leads me.
Call it serendipity or pure chance, Krishnan and I happened to see the movie “Gemini Man” the same week that I read this story. Gemini Man is all about cloning humans. It was an ok movie just because of Will Smith but the topic itself raises several questions.
Am all of technological nudges to make life better and to understand our world better…. but trying to clone and genetically alter personality traits is a little too far out for me at this time. Maybe I will come around to it in the future and who knows, I may be genetically nudged !
There was one other thing that was disturbing about this book. Apparently this is one of 6 books in the “Forward” series. The curator’s note at the end of the book had this to say in one of the paragraphs “Andy Weir captured the imagination of the world and scienced the shit out of his already-a-classic The Martian.” Really ? Scienced the shit out? What was that? If genetic nudging does this, I’d rather stay away.
Recommendation – do read the book. Its written by Amor Towles of “A Gentleman in Moscow” fame.