“Do you suppose it’s possible to murder God?”
–Ian Tregillis - What Doctor Gottlieb saw - c.2010
the Little Red Reviewer posted her review of Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis today and in it mentioned this short story set in the same Milkweed universe. It is available to read on Tor.com and as I have read the first book1 the series I thought I’d read this one. Might prompt me to pick up book two. I really liked the first but never managed to get started on the next one.
What Doctor Gottlieb saw is very much an introduction to Gretel. If you have read Bitter Seeds you’ll know that Gretel is probably the most dangerous of all the characters. Even before she was experimented on she wasn’t right, the farm merely gave her the talent to be very very good at being bad.
Dr. Gottlieb works on the farm, he is pretty much the farm’s shrink. Everyone needs a bit of help coping with what is going on there, but Gretel is really starting to come into her own her and Gottlieb is getting worried.
I was a bit concerned when I started this that I would remember enough from Bitter Seeds but as it all came back as I read the first paragraph. I don’t think you need to have read any of the Milkweed books to appreciate this, but it is probably better to read it after the first.
Tregillis has really created a monster in Gretel. At first you don’t really think that her talent, prescience is hugely dangerous, but think about it. If you know the consequences of all your actions and others actions then you can plan out how you would rather it go. And Gretel plans things to the minutest detail, no butterfly wings of chaos here, all is laid out and intricately devised. Really makes me wonder how far back her plans go with regards to the events of Bitter Seeds.
I really will have to read on in this series now.
Bitter Seeds ↩