Alen Kapidzic, Croatian author and cultural campaigner, recommends…

(CLASSIC: first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)

This story is written from the perspective of Charlie Gordon, told through series of his reports on his own progress after surgery that increases his IQ. The tale poses many questions: ethical, social, even existential. In a way, it could be read as a metaphor for our own lives as we develop, peak and inevitably decline and finally die. Good ol’ science fiction!

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(MODERN: from Hyperion, Doubleday)
This story is a part of the Hyperion collection. Sol Wientraub is a professor of ethics who starts to dream the same dream over and over again in which he’s ordered to take his daughter, Rachel, to the planet Hyperion and offer her as a sacrifice. Meanwhile, Rachel gets sick from ‘Merlins disease’: every night she falls asleep and wakes another day one day younger forgetting everything that happened the day before. Sol refuses to offer his daughter as a sacrifice (in the dream), whilst slowly loosing his battle with Rachel’s strange disease (in real life). Ethical questions arise in meaningless arguments with a nonexistent God, along side fears for what will happen when Rachel reaches her birthday. Interesting stuff.

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