This book turned up on my ipad kindle and I don’t know from where or how. I do know I didn’t pay for it so perhaps it was a promotional time on Amazon or perhaps it had been recommended to me via someone else’s review. It is a genre I rarely read and probably never choose to read. It falls into the science fiction category and is classified as a cyberpunk novel. It was written in 1991 and in 1993 won the Arthur C Clarke Award for best science fiction. It was written over 20 years ago and is set in a period of time that we have nearly reached and the frightening thing about it is that Peircy seems to have had a crystal ball allowing her to see accurately into the future.
It is the story of Shira in a post apocolyptic North America run by multi-nationals. She originated in the free state of Tikva (Hebrew for hope) but had worked for a multi J-S, married and had a child, Ari. Her marriage had ended , she had lost her child and she returned to her childhood home and her maternal grandmother, Malkah. She works for the father of her childhood lover in socialising a cyborg, Yod. Malkah had been instrumental in making this cyborg work. All previous had not been able to control their strength but she gave this one a gentler side. The world outside the dome is known as the Glop and here second skins need to be worn to protect from the elements, the people living there are desperate and wild with law non-existent. Gangs rule. A total breakdown of society. Yod assists Shira in stealing Ari back from Y-S and her ex husband. Y-S is determined to get their hands on Yod. This is a story of humanity, what it means to be human, feminism, moral conflicts, joy and sorrow, politics, the Middle East conflicts,post- apocalyptic world, and central to it all is Judaism, which I found enlightening at times.
A secondary story runs through the novel – that of the legend of the Golem in Prague in 1599. The Golem, Joseph, was an artifical being in the form of a man arising from clay due to the work of Rabbi Loew with the purpose of protecting the inhabitants of the ghetto from the pogroms of the day. This story is told by Malkah to Yod and the parallels make you think deeply about what is human as this is presented from the side of the artificial life and from those that love it.
There is so much more to this novel that demonstrates directions that we are currently reaching in our own computer age. I’m very glad that I read and I know it is one that will stay with me for a long time.
This leads into the prompt from Charli’s Carrot Ranch where this week she has asked:
August 17, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that heals America. Difficult and idealistic, I know. Think about building bonds of trust or stories of friendship. It could be a positive story about America. Bonus points for hugging a cat.
Respond by August 29, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published August 30). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!
Give us a Housewife
The cat flew across the room at the end of Donald’s boot. Maggie hugged her tightly.
“Mum” she screamed. Her mother appeared wiping floury hands onto her apron.
“What’s going on.” She listened. Both children talked, airing their grievances. As the tirade petered out she indicated they should sit. “We’re different yet the same. Let’s communicate, listen and learn. Let’s aim for a home of peace, love and acceptance. Without sanctions that don’t work. Silently she gave thanks for her ban of guns. Donald acted without thinking. They talked. Even Donald listened and learnt.
“Mum, please stand for President.”