The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack



The Prynne Viper by Bianca Marais

Posted by Gilbert Stack on June 7, 2022 at 7:45 AM

The Prynne Viper by Bianca Marais

This is a short but powerful story about a dystopian future where society has been convinced that everything a person is worth can be calculated and predicated by studying their genes. When people dare to become pregnant without approval, the unborn child (called a viper) is put on trial by people that science predicts will be impacted (positively and negatively) by the child during his or her life. The trials are clearly for show trial spectators who get to watch but not hear the evidence. All participants have their memories wiped of the testimony. Even having the trial seems weird since in theory there is no free will and the outcome is known (one might even say rigged) in advance.


Now I enjoyed the story and I found the ending highly moving, but I still think the author missed the boat here. Very little information is given on how the child will impact most of the 13 jurors and we never had a scene in which the jurors try to convince each other to vote their way (after all, not all impacts are negative, but some could potentially be terribly so). That being said, it’s a nice quick read with a surprisingly strong ending.


Categories: Reviews