Posted on Thursday, March 23rd, 2006 at 9:24 am under Fiction, Science Fiction / Fantasy

Title:Oryx and Crake
Author:Margaret Atwood

Why I liked this book: This futuristic (and dystopian, it almost goes without saying) novel has been quite a big success. Anyone who has read The Handmaid’s Tale will know that Atwood can imagine her way into interesting futures; and that the ideas underpinning these worlds are usually both disturbing and fascinating.

The tale told here straddles an apocalypse brought on by rampant population growth and technology, especially pharmacology, gone out of control. While the characters are pretty flat, the ideas being played with and the dynamics of the plot make it continuously interesting. Wouldn’t you want the BlyssPluss pill if it were available? It confers protection from sexually transmitted diseases, unlimited libido and sexual stamina, high energy levels, and prolonged youth. There are, it’s true, a few side effects.

But who will control this new world of biotechnological wonders? What would it be like to survive the destruction of our civilization? Could humans, with a few design changes, take a path that would avoid the fate of this world?

If you like speculative fiction, this one’s for you.

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