Nick Sagan — Everfree

Gah. Everfree, Nick Sagan’s closer to his Black Ep. trilogy, introduced some neat-o characters, but subsided to an ultimately unsatisfying conclusion. Remember the plot? Major plague, well-to-do humans go into cryogenics, everyone else dies? After inventing post-humans, genetically engineered kiddies smart enough to save the planet? Only then one went insane and killed like half of his compatriots? ‘Member that? Kay. At this novel’s start, we find out that the post-humans have begun reanimating the world’s old movers-and-shakers, and forcing everyone to play nice by following the Doctrine, a set of rules meant to help form a collectivist society. The former moguls (remember, affording cryogenics to escape the plague was frikkin’ expensive) are kinda pissy about this and attempt a corporate takeover. Some other stuff happened, but at this point Sagan started over-relying on Halloween as his main narrator. Hal was pissy, but entertaining in Idlewild and Edenborn, but now he’s just pissy. He’s madly in love with Pandora, another post-human, who’s pregnant with what might be the first successful-to-term post-human baby. The emphasis via Hal on the marriage mandate was really quite irritating, since from what I remember of Edenborn, he wasn’t even interested in Pandora ’til he realized she was quite the hottie. That’s not enough to make me care about your stupid baby! Anyways, Sagan introduces a few new, interesting character voices, including Sloane, an angry second-generation post-human woman, and Fantasia, who I love because she is lyrically nuts. Unfortunately, these narrators are really underused. Sagan did set the stage for another book set in this same world, but seriously, if there’s going to be more baby-talk and less crazy Fantasia, I don’t think I’m interested.

This reminds me of a point Octavia Butler made a few years ago when I first heard her speak. She pointed out that post-apocalyptic fiction written by men frequently forgot to think about things like reproductive freedom and the complexities of sexuality. Like seriously… no talk of safe sex, IVF getting dogged, and Vashti STILL the ONLY gay in the village? What the motherduck??

At least Fantasia is still batty. The forces of Nutritious and Delicious remain out to get her, and the only defense she’s got is a tranquilizer gun and the color purple.

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