Greg Egan, ‘Yeyuka’ (1997)

Egan’s story is set in a future where most diseases can be cured by a single device built into a finger-ring – but not all parts of the world enjoy equal access to that technology. Our narrator is Martin, an Australian surgeon who goes on a three-month stint to Uganda, where he has volunteered to treat Yeyuka, a new form of cancer to which surgery is the only halfway-effective response.

I rather liked this story: cleanly written, and painting a thorny moral landscape. There’s a tension between Martin’s altruistic and other motives for going toUganda(he acknowledges that this could be his ‘last chance ever to perform cancer surgery’, so there’s an element of career-advancement at play); and the issues faced by other characters are no less clear-cut.

Rating: ***½

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology Not the Only Planet.

1 Comment

  1. I found “Yeyuka” to be a very powerful story. The progression from the scene in which the narrator finds himself at the opening of the story, to the one in which he finds himself as the story ends is WELL DONE. As the original comment states, Egan paints–very effectively–a “thorny moral landscape”–both societal and personal. I’d give it ***** (five stars)

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