Friday, November 13, 2009

"Stable Strategies for Middle Management" by Eileen Gunn

It's been a busy couple of days, so, once again, I'm behind on my postings. I'm going to try to rectify that now.

First up is "Stable Strategies for Middle Management" by Eileen Gunn. I liked the basic idea behind this story (that bioengineering would someday be used by corporate employees to give them very unusual competitive advantages), but I found the execution to be a little extreme. I mean, I can easily see people going in for bioengineering that might make them a little bit stronger, faster, smarter, more attractive, etc. . . . In many ways, with things like plastic surgery? However, the tack Gunn takes in this story involves wholesale genetic manipulation that cross-breeds humans with other species, resulting in things like monkey-people, or, in the case of the main character of this story, an insect woman. I just can't see someone that would be willing to go quite that far just to get a competitive advantage. Then again, maybe this is why I'm not part of the corporate world.

Of course, I think a lot of what Gunn is doing is a tongue-in-cheek shot at corporate culture. Also, I think the analogy with insects is pretty apt. I also think that the end result is pretty entertaining. However, I can't get over the absurdity of the premise. It just feels like it was taken just a bit too far.

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