Review of "Children of the Artificial Womb," short story by Edward Lange
Hector, a member of the Plasmid street gang and product of the artificial womb, is not doing well. His girlfriend is pregnant, his best friend is a murderous, technological genius and his gang boss is a violent bully. But when a once in a lifetime opportunity comes his way, Hector will have to choose between safety and freedom, in the dangerous world of gang warfare.
This story can also be found in the short fiction collection, Nightmares and Premonitions.
I've reviewed Lange's work before and I have to start out by saying how impressed I was by his progress as a writer. This story--compared to the one I read before--is sleeker, more engaging and, most importantly, has characters that felt real. I was immediately drawn into the turf wars and the emotional struggle behind the character's actions.
The plot itself is interesting. It feels very vintage scifi in that it presents a questionable concept (the artificial womb) and explores the ramifications of such technology development. Does the artificial womb really solve the abortion debate?
I felt this concept was a little too interesting. Short stories always walk a fine line between presenting too much and too little information. In this story's case, too much was given. A very rich world was presented but much of its potential was left sadly unexplored. This particular story could have easily gone on into novella-length or longer.
Overall, however, it's an engaging read. Well worth picking up if you're in the mood for some dystopian scifi.
Review by Alain Gomez
Buy this story on Amazon.