The Coming Storm
By Mark Alpert
At the end of 2018 a Chinese scientist claimed to have made genetically-edited babies using a tool known by its acronym CRISPR. The story created a lot of buzz and blowback, conjuring visions of a brave new world of designer humans.
Of course, this has long been a favourite subject in science fiction. In The Coming Storm CRISPR has been used to create a breed of super-soldiers, the shock troops of an authoritarian U.S. government. Mark Alpert mixes a lot of action and politics into this cautionary tale of a worst-case scenario future. The social order is falling apart due to giant storms battering coastal cities, increased immigration, and a collapsing economy, so the government needs genetically-engineered warriors to keep control.
Alas, genetic engineering is more complicated than it seems and things don’t work out as planned. This happens with a lot of scientific breakthroughs even with the best intentions, and the government’s intentions here are not the best. It’s up to Jenna Khan and her new-found guerilla friends to stop the powers-that-be from doing even worse things than messing with the nation’s gene pool.