Friday, December 28, 2018

Short Fiction Friday: Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant

Dr. Isabella Gualey is a good doctor but when her niece becomes the first victim of a new disease, one there is apparently no cure for, her expertise seems to have failed her in the worst way. As Morris's disease makes its way across the country and then the globe, Gauley watches on as it claims life after life and there's apparently nothing she can do about it. 

Until she comes up with an idea that pushes the very limits of medical ethics. It's an idea that will tear her own family apart and put her career - and even her life - at risk. But if it saves lives, it's worth it isn't it?

Mira Grant's latest novella, a new special edition release from the good folks at Subterranean Press, is a truly terrifying and all to realistic tale of modern medicine, medical ethics, and moral dilemmas. And it's one that hits close to home for me!

I have a newborn at home, a child who hasn't had a chance to build up an immune system as of yet and isn't quite old enough for vaccinations, which means that we've all but quarantined ourselves at home for the first two months of his life. Indeed, because of a suspected allergy there are two vaccines I was never able to get boosters for, which means I'm also potentially at risk for at least one very avoidable illness that's begun making the rounds again.

So you can imagine how much scarier a story about a new, vaccine resistant bug was for this reader!

There's no question there's a message to this story and there's no question from the beginning exactly what the message is. The painstaking detail and the harrowing impact her created disease has on her characters makes this a horrific read and that's before the twist at the end.

One thing I should note, however, is that I did find the portion describing the spread of Morris's to be quite similar to Grant's Newsflesh prequel story, "Countdown." If you've read the short, and you've likely come to Grant's latest as a fan of said series so you probably have, you'll see what I mean. That said, since I gobble up anything and everything Grant/McGuire writes, it didn't take away from this read all that much.

Subterranean produces gorgeous collectors edition hardcovers worthy of any hardcore collector's shelves. If you didn't have a chance to get a copy of this one before it sold out, though, I highly recommend springing for at least the e edition.

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