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Humanity’s Edge
Author: Tamara Wilhite
Publisher: Blue Phi’er Publishing
Soft cover, 143 pp.

Ideas drive the 13 short stories in this book--strong, intriguing ideas that explore the best and worst humankind is capable of. Using a variety of scenarios (with a sci-fi edge), the author’s characters face crucial moral questions.

In “New Beginnings,” cloned humans experience flashbacks of their host’s memories. How far will the leader of a scientific team go to keep the flashbacks from interfering with the research? 

In “Breathing Room” attempts to control earthquakes result in worldwide catastrophic geologic events that leave most dead and the atmosphere largely poisoned. What will people do to survive?

“The Church of the Called” examines how telepathic powers might be misused by a religious group. 

An appealing sensibility informs the stories. They are asking essential questions about human values. What kinds of life should be protected/valued? 

There are many good moments in this collection. 

Where the stories are weak is in character development. In a few of them (most notably, “Breathing Room“) I was caught up in caring about the main character but, in the majority of tales, the characters are merely participants in an idea. They are not people with complex interior lives or people the reader comes to sympathize with on a deep level. True, these are short stories and, as such, there is a limit to how complex people can be. But when plot trumps character development in almost every case, as a reader you feel something very important is missing.

Tamara Wilhite is a promising author. I look forward to the evolution of her already considerable talent.

Jim Wormington


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