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of the Month

September 15
New reviews in
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Odds & Ends and
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by Brian Evenson
Tor, $.99, 32pp
Published: September 2020

Solution deals with a future in which climate change and ecological destruction have taken hold, wiping out most of the natural world. The plot follows a geneticist who stumbles upon a possible solution for the impending destruction of humanity.

This short story is about an old man who decides he can no longer watch the world he lives in turn toxic and destroy itself, especially after watching people monetize the global collapse with quick fixes and short term ideas.

He considers both of his sons as horrible monsters; as they are part of the problem, working on solutions that will only benefit the wealthy, not caring that the rest of the world will die.

He begins to wonder:


"At what point, seeing how little is being done—seeing how little changes even when people do notice the world is dying, seeing how little changes no matter which political party brandishes its readymade moral indignation and seizes power, seeing the way that corporations who have taken on the rights of people continue to do as they please—do you decide to take matters into your own hands?

And when you do decide to do so, what can you possibly do?

I have not sold my soul to the devil. I used to think that there was just a simple either/or: either sell your soul or wait to wither away and die. But I have come to realize there is a third possibility: to become the devil himself. Do that, and all sold souls shall belong to you."


In his early years, the old man was a genetic researcher and he believes he's found a way to help the people of the world, though they might not agree with what he has in mind. So he takes it upon himself to play God—or in his mind, the devil—but, for better or worse, he is willing to take that gamble on saving his fellow man.

I enjoyed Solution. It was well written and very impactful, especially in the world we live in today. ~~ Dee Astell

For more titles by Brian Evenson click here

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