Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

September Books 17) Eva, by Peter Dickinson

I was moved to get this by Jo Walton's review on Tor.com, five years ago I now realise; I had no idea that it was one of Dickinson's best known books *"80% of my mail, almost all of it from the USA, is about this one book"); I know him for The Green Gene and Annerton Pit and Tulku and King and Joker and The Changes (of which I saw the first episode again at Worldcon).

It is a good take on a familiar sfnal theme, of a human mind transplanted into another body - H.L. Gold had his hero transplanted into a dog in 1939, and there's always I Will Fear No Evil, in which a rich man's brain is transplanted into his secretary's body and hilarity ensues. Dickinson's teenage protagonist wakes up to find that to save her life, her parents have transplanted her mind into the body of one of her father's experimental chimpanzees, in a near future world which is facing environmental disaster. She is caught up in the wider politics of what has happened to her, the actual ethics of the operation (and of repeating it) and the intersection of financial and political interests in what happens to the chimpanzees as the research money runs out, and has to find her own way between asserting her humanity and embracing her new chimpanzee nature, including sex and death. Some of it, of course, is a metaphor for growing up, but all of it is rather good, and I'm glad I followed up on this recommendation.
Tags: bookblog 2014, writer: peter dickinson
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