Science! is building a way for us to install pig parts into ourselves. To be healthier.
On the other hand, maybe if human DNA is slowly and deliberately integrated with porcinity, we’d get a little bit f-ing smarter.
Last week, real-life Mr. Robots hacked San Francisco’s rail system to give thousands of riders free rides through the glossy playground of what a dear friend calls the Google Babies: tech economy fortunates who transformed SF from a proudly dirty queer/alt/boho haven to a Bubble city.
Bubble, bubble. Toil and trouble.
Highlights from what I’ve been reading:
This novel launches auspiciously with a rant by a self-identified middle-aged angry woman, about the nature and depth of her anger. Methought “yes, please!” And I enjoyed it. Lovely sentences, interesting characters. But the symbolism was too on the nose. An unfulfilled, meticulous, self-contained woman artist making meticulous, self-contained dioramas of famously unfulfilled women artists. Her foil, a fulfilled, vaguely exploitative, worldly woman artist making room-sized joyful worlds out of “trash” and, it turns out, exploitation. Didn’t you hear? The Art Machine grinds people up! OTOH, Alice Munro said that all the women she knew upended their lives between 36 and 45. This is a decent story about that.
From the misty distance of zero years, it’s time for us to revisit, once more, the Iraq war era.
Battlestar Galactica: your ending disappointed me. I mean, you were no Lost. But you were pretty much like Lost.
Still, your attempts to treat science fiction like the provocative genre it should be—your realization that stories about the future (or the past) are always about now, and that now is pretty interesting—and your respectable effort to spread the beefcake around (but, come on) have led me to rewatch you like you’re Star Trek, or something.
I finished Maddaddam in a plot-fueled daze. Then I immediately began rereading Octavia Butler’s “Xenogenesis Trilogy,” which is conveniently/frustratingly published in one volume entitled “Lilith’s Brood” with cover art that looks like it’s soft core porn.
The thing is, the trilogy is bona fide SF. Aliens, apocalypse, ethics, science. The “nature of humanity.”
If that publisher thought for half a second about how bullshit that cover is, they’d realize that if they pretended Octavia Butler were a dude, and put some flipping aliens and stars on the cover, and a big blobby spaceship that itself is alive, to more accurately represent the book’s actual content, maybe they’d DOUBLE THEIR CUSTOMERS.
DOUBLE. THE SALES. DOUBLE THEM.
Instead, they made the book look like it’s about a skinny black woman having sex.
Which, technically, happens in the trilogy. But only through a gender-neutral being who mediates between her and another’s nervous system in a mandatory threesome, and no one touches anyone. Etc. Science fiction sex. You know how we do.