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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 2012 by Ken MacLeod

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this on the 25th January 201.

Hugh, Hope and their son Nick live in London a few years from now. Everything has got so much worse. They live in a fearful, terrifying, nanny state. There is ever-present, intrusive monitoring. This is to keep you safe and on the right track and to avoid the appalling horror of going off track. Monitor rings for pregnant women alerting and recording if they smoke or drink. CCTV cameras in your home, only as a protective measure; only to be used in case of a break-in of course. A Free and fair society guaranteed because the government makes the decisions that of course you would have made if you'd had full information.

Hope is pregnant and is hesitating about taking the "fix", the little medical tablet that will cure and prevent many common diseases in her unborn child. This genetic engineering will make her child healthier and possibly more intelligent. She doesn't know why she is so averse to taking it. That's part of the problem, because when it comes to the attention of the Social Services, that unformed reluctance could begin to look like bad parenting. And the social services are very strict, very strict indeed, on bad parents.

Hope's difficulties reveal Hugh's own problematic secrets. Shortly after that leaves him not just under the eye of the Social, but in the hands of the military.

Ken has created a classic story in this gruelling fairy tale of a dystopian, near-future UK. It's wonderful. I'd rather like a sequel or indeed a prequel. There's so much more I want to know about this new world.

Loaded on the 31st January 2015.
Cover of Intrusion
Cover art by Nick Taylor - LBBG, Getty