'What Doctor Gottlieb Saw' by Ian Tregillis (2010)

What Doctor Gottlieb Saw - Ian Tregillis

Ian Tregillis, What Doctor Gottlieb Saw (Tor.com, 2010), 26pp [electronic copy]


A great little story which complements Ian Tregillis' Milkweed Triptych books. This dark and creepy little tale takes place before the events of Bitter Seeds, the first book in the triptych, and delves deeper into the psyche of Gretel, who is undoubtedly the series' most fascinating character. It is very cleverly written, culminating in an ending which shows just how potentially evil Gretel may become. For fans of Bitter Seeds, it is worth a read as it is a well-executed story which, as I said, fleshes out one of the trilogy's most prominent characters. For non-fans, it is still recommended, as although there is little setup as to why Gretel and others are at this 'farm', why they are being experimented on, why they have wires coming out of their heads, etc., it is still powerful enough and taut enough to be enjoyed. It will also give newcomers a sense of Tregillis' writing style and hopefully persuade them to pick up Bitter Seeds, which is a fantastic novel. A fine example of the potential of the short story medium to make an impression on a reader.