4.0 on the Masq Scale! The Methuselah Strain by @stuartaken #scifi #bookreview

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The Methuselah Strain

Written by Stuart Aken

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

As the Prime Renegade plans the disabling of automatic systems that support the dwindling human population, she seeks a man to love and to father her child.

The usual route of artificial insemination appeals to her about as much as the materialistic and hedonistic philosophy that now drives most people.

And, secretly, forces designed to serve mankind develop a sense of superiority that might threaten human survival.

This science fiction novelette, running to around 26,000 words, is set on Earth some few hundred years in the future. Much has happened to change the planet with which we are familiar, but human beings remain pretty much the mixed-up and flawed creatures we have always been.

Devorah F.'s Review

I had trouble getting into this at first. Not that it isn't well written--it is. The author tasked himself with writing a “novelette,” a story with the complexity of a novel and the brevity of a short story. As a result the writing is admirably economical; nothing wasted, nothing extraneous. Every word counts.

I was also impressed with how thoroughly author Stuart Aken knows his imagined future world, from the geographical, political, economic and technological changes to the smallest details of everyday life. Aken writes about it all with the confident unhesitating familiarity of one who has lived there.

Initially I was put off by all the sex. Not that it’s gratuitous and once I came to understand its role in this future world I understood its place in the story. Still, there’s a lot of it.

I’m glad I kept reading though and I really enjoyed the latter half which was thought provoking. I found myself asking, “Yeah, what about that?”

And I had to chuckle that even hundreds of years into the future some old-fashioned values still hold sway. It put me in mind of "Star Trek" and how no matter how many worlds the Enterprise crew visited or how many different types of aliens and civilizations they encountered, being human was always the best way to be.

The ending was a complete surprise. Never saw that coming.

Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.