FuschiaReads.

....and sometimes watches.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Human Stock


Vaughan Whitlock Temple
House PB 2001 396pp

“Eight years into the third millennium, the Australian Government, increasingly alarmed by recent escalations in world conflict, had not yet conceded there was nay real ganger to itself of Darwin, - a self-sufficient, but relatively small city with a population of just over one hundred thousand.”

I read this book last Friday night, after having bought in on the last day of my local Red Shield’s ‘All books 10c’ sale. I was ripped off

I am a girl very into ‘suspension of disbelief’. I love my unicorns and space ships and time travel and true love. All I ask is a well written story and cool characters. All we ever ask Mr Whitlock, is a well written story and cool
characters!!! What we have in ‘Human Stock’ is neither, and only makes the following all the more horrible

  • An apologist prologue by the editor explaining the bizarre contention of a world ruled by women
  • An underground city would be built in which to house people to outlive the coming Armageddon
  • It would house only about 200 hundred people
  • It would be in Darwin
  • It would be called ‘Bunkertown’
  • Family groups would be split up into mens, womens and childrens dormitories
  • Couples would be split up because there were not the medical facilities in ‘Bunkertown’ to deal with births and so everyone has to be celibate whilst living in ‘Bunkertown’
  • Not one women in ‘Bunkertown’ (ie chosen to be humanities last best hope) has any kind of skill or profession or indeed personality (oh, apart from the grumpy frigid ones who later grab power)
  • Uranuium having a half life of a year means people came come out of ‘Bunkertown’ after two years
  • A new town site is chosen after a conversation with the ‘town planner’, the ‘doctor’, the ‘builder’ and the ‘waste disposal engineer’
  • Because everyone was celibate for 2 years, anarchy and selfishness run riot in the new settlement. Families break down and what with all that rape and gratuitous coupling, babies are born that put pressure on the medical supplies
  • China survived nuclear war and refugees bring cloning technology to Darwin
  • We care about any of these horrible characters or the stupid society they build.


This is all in less than the first 100 pages. It gets so much worse. There are ‘plot’ devices that boggle the imagination. Maybe it made sense somewhere. It was just so icky and so very silly. If it hadn’t already been done, I would cheerfully say ‘nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure’ and try and get on with
my life

I did not understand *and* I did not care!


ps the cover art is also truly horrible


Comments:

Heh, umm i can not borrow that one.

Not to question the plot or nuffing, but was there no contraception in Bunkertown?

# posted by Blogger Cozalcoatl : 1:35 PM  

I thought you were talking about a book written in the 40s a-la John Wyndham and was about to tut you for demanding a lot from early sci-fi, and then I scrolled up and took another look at the publishing date! Ye goddesses, how can you write such crap in 2001?!!!

Thanks for the warning! It's the sort of thing I'd pick up in a sale too.

# posted by Blogger Ampersand Duck : 5:49 PM  

There was no mention of contraception - not even a discussion of why there was no contraception. There didn't seem to be a religious message - maybe I missed it? 'bunkertown' - what a name - still makes me laugh!

# posted by Blogger FuschiaReads : 10:12 AM  

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