A Step Too Far

Ross Martyn

A Step Too Far
The Choir Press
United Kingdom
5 September 2022

A Step Too Far

Ross Martyn

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It is a near-future world, and in many ways London is the same bustling metropolis it has been for centuries; but look a little closer and Viral Inspectors roam public places delivering fines and forced immunisation against Avian Flu, and an organisation called the Genetic Protection Authority has been established with unnerving oversight. It is the role of the GPA to oversee the genetic future of mankind: a noble mission to protect humanity from the worst genetic diseases and impairments, but one that seems increasingly liable to abuse, using its vague definitions of eradicating anything more than ‘three standard variations from the human norm’. When Sandra Small becomes pregnant with a child that has the same strain of achondroplasia dwarfism as her husband, Ivan Henry, an ugly domestic dispute escalates to a legal battle with the GPA and the High Court. What could have been a marital issue becomes a challenge to the GPA’s authority and jurisdiction, in a test case that could set an alarming precedent for the whole country, redefining the very definition of what is, and isn’t, human. The stakes for Ivan, dwarfs, and anyone else with a genetic condition, become increasingly larger threatening to engulf London and beyond. This ambitious and provocative script is a faithful recreation of Ross Martyn’s original vision, looking at ethics, science, and society; a story of how small actions can lead to catastrophic consequences.

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