Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Hand You're Dealt, by Robert J. Sawyer

A Merry Christmas to all!  But I read on Christmas too, and when I finish a story I write about it.  And tonight I read a story that got a Hugo nomination in 1998, The Hand You're Dealt by Robert J. Sawyer.  This is the kind of story Isaac Asimov used to excel at, with his detective Wendell Urth.  SF mysteries are difficult, because it's not easy to write a mystery whose solution depends on a technology development, but at the same time isn't trivialized by that development.  This one works pretty well--the core of the story is "soothsaying", a mystical word for what is really just a close reading of one's genes.  We're pretty near to doing it today.  And like a good SF mystery, the case is not only solved but the story tells something about people and trust.  Since it's a mystery I won't spoil it, but will recommend spending a little time to read it.  3 stars.

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