Vox by Christina Dalcher

  In my non-fiction reading life I’ve been slowly working through David Crystal’s A Little Book of Language and I picked up Vox in the library because a dystopia about women being punished for speaking seemed a serendipitous find. And initially, Dalcher was building up a pretty good picture of an oppressive future world in which families could be blown apart 1984-style by the new regime. Then everything went to pieces … Dystopian fiction often removes or adds one simple thing that tips the balance of society toward the bad. In Vox that simple thing is women’s freedom of speech. … Continue reading Vox by Christina Dalcher

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The idea of censoring and banning books both flummoxes and fascinates me. The concept of protecting others from challenging ideas by denying them access seems odd to me because I associate challenge with growth – how can I become more than I am now if I am always given the easy path? Additionally, my job is all about making information freely available to all in the interests of empowerment. It is a job that rests upon the belief that to learn is to grow. There are some really crappy aspects to my job (contrary to the popular belief that library … Continue reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Female Man by Joanna Russ

  This month is going too fast. I had such plans! I had five books lined up to read for Little Red Reviewer‘s Vintage Science Fiction Month and I’ve only managed two so far. Bah! I finished this yesterday, then stared at a blank page for a couple of hours trying to think how I was going to put into words all the things going on in my brain as a result of reading it. I don’t know anything about post-modernism, but I feel like this is what post-modern fiction probably looks like. I don’t know what the intentions of … Continue reading The Female Man by Joanna Russ

Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

Book Bingo – a SciFi novel translated into English = Achieved! Well this was the bleakest book I could have chosen to finish off this year’s reading. Earlier in the year I had chosen The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu for this Book Bingo category, but I found it really difficult to get into. It also kept getting requested by other library borrowers while I was trying to read it, so I’d read a bit, return it so someone else could have it, then request it and read a bit more before returning it again, which all made for a … Continue reading Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Book Bingo Category: Recommendation from a friend = Achieved!   My most awesome friend S recommended this to me. I’d seen it around and wondered about it, but when someone whose opinion you respect tells you that here is a book that everyone should read, you get on it right away. The basic story is that young women all over the world suddenly begin to display an electrifying super-power that changes the dynamics between the sexes. It tells the story from a few different points of view: Roxy, the daughter of a British crime lord, and Allie an abused foster … Continue reading The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

It took me nearly a month to read this. At 629 pages it’s nowhere near the longest book I’ve read, but it has been the most exhausting and emotional journey I’ve taken in a while and the crazy-beautiful language had me taking in each and every detail, and feeling each and every hurt. I know book choices are often deeply personal and just because I love this book not everyone will, but right now, while I’m still in the emotional fallout, I feel like the world will be a better place if everyone just reads this one. Ice Cream Fifteen … Continue reading The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin

The Lathe of Heaven practically races from start to finish and was really hard to put down. It was apparently first published as a serial in Amazing Stories magazine, and I think that has a lot to do with the pacing; not that (at only eleven chapters long), it was ever going to be a slog to read.   Big fat SPOILERS all the way through from here on … Anyhow, it’s set in a 2002 (thirty years in the future for Le Guin when she wrote it) where overpopulation and climate change mean that everyone lives with starvation and … Continue reading The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin