Ammonite by Nicola Griffith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On my way to work through all the nominations for SF awards throughout the years, I finally ran into this little feminist speculative gem from the early '90s.
Upon finishing it, I'm struck by a few notions that feel rather obvious to me but maybe aren't for angry feminists in the SF field before the '90s.
Put simply, women are regular people full of all the same flaws as anyone and the whole point of this novel is to underscore that point. After all, there aren't any more men on this extra-solar planet thanks to a nice virus, and all the crap that befalls all of them is entirely on the women's own shoulders.
No men to complain about. All the superstitions, revenge-baiting, sex-drives, sweet carings, knowledge-lovings, murder, and barbarity is all their own.
As for me, I'm like... okay? So what? The message always seemed pretty obvious. People are all f**ked up. And yes, I include anyone of any gender or orientation. We're all the full spectrum of f**ked up.
So, I guess kudos for being fairly early about it, except I'm used to Alice Sheldon and Mary Shelly and a ton more, besides.
The adventure in this novel is still pretty good. It's about culture and discovery and it's pretty emotional. As an SF, I was pretty invested in the weird bits of the virus and the deep look into the adapted cultures and the way they reproduce without men. This part was rather interesting.
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