Saturday, 18 January 2014

News from the Squares

In News from Gardenia, the story was all about "ooh, look at all these amazing ideas of where we could be in the future if certain events happen", with the focus on the environment and the gadgets, less so about an actual story.

In News from the Squares, the future is "what if women took over?" While there are still some amazing inventions, the focus is less on them, and more on the protagonist Gavin and we find out more about him... and there's an actual story that Gavin (indirectly) interacts with! There's actual development of the society because of his presence! There's plot! And it's a good plot!

The basic idea of 'women in charge' is taken in a positive way, but Robert Llewellyn doesn't shy away from possible repercussions of this. This isn't a simple sex-swap power mad dictator story, there is considered development of 'what is the role of men?', 'what upsides or downsides are there in a society with matriarchal ideas?' and 'are men needed at all?' And all we have is the world Robert chooses to present, but leaves decisions and ultimate discussions up to the reader.

I had a hard time not listening (as I heard it as an audio book) to this, and if the next one is like this, I am quite looking forwards to News from the Clouds.


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