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10/18/2015

Comments

re: Kovacs review of Small Doses of the Future:

Although I was pleased to see that NYRSF chose to publish a review of my book, it’s unfortunate that they chose a reviewer who admittedly does not enjoy reading medical science fiction.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion as to which stories they may or may not like, and I certainly appreciate the time and attention to detail that Dr. Kovacs put into this review, particularly given the fact that he does not enjoy the genre. I did find it odd, however, that he made a point of saying that the collection contained medical/surgical errors without pointing out anything that was actually an error.
Like most authors, I put a lot of time into research for my work to try and assure that any technology I describe is as accurate as possible. The two points that Dr. Kovacs does mention finding implausible are: 1 – the faster-than-light communication necessary to perform telerobotic surgery at great distances (this was briefly described in the story as having been accomplished via atomic wormhole theory, which is one proposed theory as to how this may be accomplished some day); and 2 – that the stereotactic surgery could not have been accomplished by a geologist on the moon. While it’s true that neither of these things are feasible with today’s technology, both are conceivable when one projects the technology decades into the future, when this story takes place. (The stereotactic device described is not meant to be today’s technology, and is specifically described as a device that does not have to be particularly precise or require the use of a medical scanner for the manner in which it is used in the story.)
I’m flattered that he chose to compare my story Locked In to John Scalzi’s Lock In. Scalzi happens to be one of my favorite authors, but I’d like to clarify that my story in no way came from ideas in his book. In fact, my story was published in 2010 – four years before Scalzi’s book came out.
This collection was not written for those who take no joy in reading medical science fiction. It was put together in response to inquiries from readers as to where they could find my stories, which had otherwise only been available by purchasing back issues of Analog. My target audience is those who would like to vicariously experience how tomorrow’s medical technology may come to affect our day-to-day lives.
- Brad Aiken

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