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