Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Quarantine Nursery, by Aimee Ogden

★★★★☆ Heartbreaking

(Dystopia) In a future ravaged by disease, parents who can afford it raise their children in isolation chambers, which makes it tough to be a mom. (5,145 words; Time: 17m)

"The Quarantine Nursery," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 11-12|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.616 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This story really pulls at your heartstrings; the pain of a mother who can’t ever touch her child, and who has to watch him being raised by a machine. A mom who worries that he’s not talking at age two and that he doesn’t react much to seeing her.

She’s surrounded by examples of other ways to do it. The poor family who just raise their kids in the open and live with the consequences. The neighbor who surreptitiously sneaks into her child’s room at night. But Barbara is too afraid of losing the child, so she finds a different way to make contact—and is rewarded by hearing her child speak for the first time.

Con: I couldn’t stop thinking about how horribly these kids are being neglected. In the story, they get to join society at age 3, but after age 2, the damage is irreversible. I suppose the robot is intended to ameliorate that, Walter’s behavior strongly suggests it isn’t working.

Barbara’s “solution” of sending him her shirt so the kid will at least have some of his mom’s smell (assuming it survived the disinfection process) seems unlikely to work.

Other Reviews: Search Web
Aimee Ogden Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)