Science Fiction Short Story Review: "Pandemic" by Jesse F. Bone
Research pathologist Dr. Walter Kramer is hiring another new assistant. It’s not his pipe that’s driving them away. Thurston’s disease has wiped out nearly one billion of the three billion people on the planet. It’s particularly hard on kids. Kramer, among many others, is working feverishly on a cure.
“My predecessor, my secretary, my lab technician, my junior pathologist, my dishwasher all died of Thurston’s Disease,” Kramer tells the soon-to-be new assistant, Mary Barton.
Mary was a nurse before she married and has just lost her husband and 3-year-old son to Thurston’s. She figures she’s going to die from the same disease eventually, but until then, she may as do what she can to help find the cure for it.
What makes this story interesting for me is the description of Thurston’s, how it came to be, how it acts on the body and how it’s researched. What doesn’t work is the ending. The cure is (surprise) right under their noses. But then the ending is saccharine.
According to SF Encyclopedia , author Jesse F. Bone was a veterinarian, whose “most memorable” book was The Lani People from 1962. His short fiction consists of about 30 stories and has not been anthologized.
Title: “Pandemic” first published in Analog of Science Fact and Science Fiction Feb. 1962
Author: Jesse Franklin Bone (1916-2006)
©2015 Denise Longrie
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