By in Sci Fi & Paranormal

Science Fiction Short Story Review: "Pandemic" by Jesse F. Bone

Research pathologist Dr. Walter Kramer is hiring another new assistant. It’s not his pipe that’s driving them away. Thurston’s disease has wiped out nearly one billion of the three billion people on the planet. It’s particularly hard on kids. Kramer, among many others, is working feverishly on a cure.

“My predecessor, my secretary, my lab technician, my junior pathologist, my dishwasher all died of Thurston’s Disease,” Kramer tells the soon-to-be new assistant, Mary Barton.

Mary was a nurse before she married and has just lost her husband and 3-year-old son to Thurston’s. She figures she’s going to die from the same disease eventually, but until then, she may as do what she can to help find the cure for it.

What makes this story interesting for me is the description of Thurston’s, how it came to be, how it acts on the body and how it’s researched. What doesn’t work is the ending. The cure is (surprise) right under their noses. But then the ending is saccharine.

According to SF Encyclopedia , author Jesse F. Bone was a veterinarian, whose “most memorable” book was The Lani People from 1962. His short fiction consists of about 30 stories and has not been anthologized.


Title: “Pandemic” first published in Analog of Science Fact and Science Fiction Feb. 1962

Author: Jesse Franklin Bone (1916-2006)

Source: ISFDB

SF Encyclopedia



©2015 Denise Longrie


This review first appeared on another site. It has since been removed and is no longer visible there. Material has been added and the review updated for its inclusion in PP.

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CalmGemini wrote on April 27, 2015, 11:40 PM

I would say,the beginning was good. But the end of the story and the way it was written--can not consider the story as a good one.The ending is on a happy note.

msiduri wrote on April 28, 2015, 12:01 AM

Yes. The ending was a big disappointment.