Nalo Hopkinson, (though a web search reveals her to be a relative new author), seems to have made her unique mark on Science Fiction largely because that voice is grounded in the rhythms, myths, and vernacular of Caribbean and Creole cultures. I mean, she is clearly not the only Science Fiction author to bring a recognizable contemporary culture other than American-flavored Caucasian to the SciFi stage, but let's face it: Name another SciFi writer of African heritage besides Delaney and Butler.
Hiro Protagonist is defined from the second page as someone who kicks ass:
"Since then the Deliverator has kept the gun in the glove compartment of his and relied, instead, on a matched set of samurai swords, which have always been his weapon of choice anyhow. The punks in Gila Highlands weren't afraid of the gun, so the Deliverator was forced to use it. But swords require no demonstrations" (2)
It was pretty easy to expect, when I was first handed Lore as a trembling victim and Spanner as her fast-talking underworld coach, that the world of Slow River is a cyberpunk world in which one's identity implant is their life and loss of it turns one into a non-person. This isn't what Slow River is about at all.
I'm still interested in what happens in this novel in terms of race, and the representation of racial issues in the future. We might of tried to touch on it in class, but the overwhelming struggle over the meaning and the philosophy of gender in society was definitely something that took over. It clearly has for almost all readers of the novel, down to the feminist writers who proclaimed that Le Guin's use of the male pronoun was the number one most anti-feminist act of all time.
Okay so, for those of you who went wild over the 1968 version (for whatever reason), take a gander at what's available on the intarwebs regarding its remake:
Originally from a 1962 French comic book. Parlez vous Francais?
I'd better adjust my tongue-box...
What can they possibly do with this film that will make it a releasable venture in the movie world of 2009? What do you think would have to go, and what might stay, to make it marketable to today's audience? Just for fun.
De-crucify the angel, or I'll MELT your FACE.
We've said a lot already about some pretty powerful issues that can't be ignored in this book. Here, I think I'd like to talk about something that isn't perhaps as critical to understanding the novel's implications for our own real, modern world, at first glance or otherwise. I'm interested in how the novel deal with empathy; as a human characteristic, as a potentially gendered characteristic, its sentimentalization (or lack thereof), and the ways that these understandings of empathy might inform society, dystopic or otherwise.
I'm tempted to call this novel nostalgic, for all of its debatable purpose and philosophy. Of course I wouldn't be the first to call it so, and part of the reason the jacket calls it "The controversial classic of military adventure" is the long history it has spawned of civilian readers being to some degree upset or suspicious of the almost fond way in which this future society of citizenship through military service is described; but still I had promised myself going in that I was going to try and find Heinlein's real philosophy behind the novel.