These Fragile Graces, This Fugitive Heart

Tachyon. Mar. 2024. 176p. ISBN 9781616964122. pap. $15.95. SF
DEBUT A trans woman confronts her past along with the person she might have been in this queer, noir technothriller set in a near-future, dystopian Kansas City. Dora’s ex-girlfriend is dead, and her old commune expects her to return and solve the crime. But it’s not merely a murder, and it’s not a result of any of the standard motives, nor is the perpetrator any of the usual suspects. Instead, Dora finds a scientist operating an illegal cloning facility, trying to create easily programmable, disposable lab rats and super soldiers while also creating additional versions of Dora the way he wants her to be: obedient, worshipful, and unequivocally male. Dora has to literally plumb the depths of her city, her past relationships, and her present psyche in order to eliminate a threat she never imagined. The murder case is the best kind of technothriller, getting deeper into the guts of the tech and the skulls in the corporate skullduggery while putting the reader into the heart and soul of an investigator who can’t stop trying to save the day for everybody else.
VERDICT Recommended for SF readers who love a good mystery, can’t resist a queer romance, and adore seeing a corporate conspiracy unraveled and undone.
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