Author: S. Zanne
Publisher: Inkstained Succubus
Genre: MM Sci Fi
Summary: Imagine a world where genetic experimentation is a reality, common enough that the government had to step in to regulate it. Mikkel’s creations are as illegal as they are magnificent, none so miraculous as his most beloved creation 1KRV5, more affectionately known as Icarus. Beautifully designed, but fundamentally flawed, Icarus serves as Mikkel’s companion, both in his laboratory and in his bed. This is the story of Icarus and his creator, two beings irrevocably drawn to what they are sure they can never have – the freedom of the open sky and the love of a mechanical creature.
Review: I had to read this novella twice in a row before I could review it because I couldn’t think how to say anything that would make this bittersweet tale sound as emotional and haunting as it is.
Mikkel is a sort of lord of the manor, though modern law decrees there is no king. He is a gentle soul who has a body that doesn’t work well and may not last. He is also a genetic inventor, creating hybrids of machine and organic material, sometimes useful, sometimes not. His ultimate creation, however, is Icarus, his beautiful boy. Icarus may have flaws but in his way he is learning what these odd feelings are, “he thought he might be able to name it as emotion”, those he has for his Maker, Mikkel.
Mikkel gave his creation wings. Those wings cause Icarus to want to fly but the skeletal structure make him too heavy. Mikkel is working on a fix, but…
I loved how Mikkel and his Icarus try to make things easier for each other, each pretending to keep the other hopeful. Mikkel and his weakened body, Icarus and his stunted emotions and inability to fly, these are not perfect characters. There is a point when Mikkel is discussing things with Rebekah and I thought, “He’s Frankenstein”, because it was so cold and awful to me. Icarus too, Mikkel’s “best and most beautiful creation”, has a cold side yet I expected it of him, being partially metal and so frequently confused about emotions. He protects Mikkel and that’s it. Their dealings with J4M1E shows this a little bit more. He’s pragmatic, as well, wanting to put those creations that are failing out to pasture.
But when they each separately open the trunk in Mikkel’s lab, I couldn’t help but see the beauty in the flawed beings that are Mikkel the Maker and his much loved creation, Icarus.
But the ending, oh my. There’s no way to describe pieces of it without giving important aspects away and I don’t want to do that. It is such a bittersweet story and yet this ending is really the only way it could have ended. “You are perfect, Icarus – my perfect, beautiful boy. Show they what you were made for.”