Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

October Books 17) The Shore of Women

17) The Shore of Women, by Pamela Sargent

Classic feminist sf, or at least that is how it is usually labelled: women live in hi-tech urban enclaves, while men are consigned to a nasty, brutish, short life of scrabbling in the wilderness, worshipping the female principle, as punishment for having caused the (unspecified) world-wrecking disaster centuries ago.

It's not that different from Sherri S. Tepper's The Gate to Women's Country. Sargent's characters are more three-dimensional, but her plot and setting rather less elaborate. I wondered where all the food for the women's cities was coming from; I also speculated a bit about the robustness of the  command-and-control mechanism by which the women unleash deadly force on men when they get uppity.

The most extreme example of Sargent's rather inconsistent world-building is, oddly enough, in her erotic passages, where Hero gets it on with Heroine; they are raunchily written yet don't completely fit what we know of the environment - we are told that both of them have had same-sex physical relationships in the past, so the overtones of virginal discovery somehow aren't quite appropriate.

Anyway, I've read it now.
Tags: bookblog 2007

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