Sunday, September 8, 2019

Winter Wheat, by Gord Sellar

[Asimov's]
★★★☆☆

(SF Epic) Over eleven years, a farm boy grows to a man on the Canadian prairie while new technology utterly changes the world he lives in. (24,559 words; Time: 1h:21m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)


"Winter Wheat," by (edited by Sheila Williams), appeared in issue 09-10|19, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2019.485 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: As epic stories go, it’s pretty good. It never gets dull, and it’s fairly realistic, at least in terms of the technologies involved. I was afraid for a bit it was going to be an irrational anti-GMO hit piece, but it focused just on the economic impacts and didn’t imply any far-fetched biological ones.

At its core, it’s the story of how Jim grew up, made a life with his wife, and managed to continue farming despite all the changes. Beyond that, there’s the implication that the “open source” people were able to use his father’s work to break the company’s monopoly, although it’s not clear whether that’s wishful thinking or not.

Con: Jim isn’t the ideal protagonist; he isn’t really trying to accomplish anything. Things just happen and he rolls with it.

In the real world, politics and bad press have prevented any of the big companies from actually trying to sell single-use crops. The story unrealistically implies that all political opposition would abruptly vanish.

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Gord Sellar Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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