The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a modern dystopian classic and a cautionary tale. It is insanely depressing to read because we are simply a pandemic or natural disaster away from something like this potentially happening. The fundamentalist religious right already has so much power, if our country were to splinter, civil war could erupt allowing pockets of this kind of evil to proliferate.
This book is about cultism on a grand scale imposing itself on a helpless populace before it could organize itself. So, while I loved this book for its attention to detail, for its bravery and insight, I also found it so difficult to read because there is not a moment of brightness in the protagonist's life. It is unrelievedly wretched, and rightly so.
Atwood's prose is starkly poetic and mesmerizing, only sometimes verging on purple prose. Claire Danes' performance on the audio book is spot on: perfection in every way. I highly recommend her dramatic reading. This should be required reading. I should not have taken so long to pick it up.
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I have been INSANELY busy. With a novel underway, 2 kids, 2 kittens (they are new--yes I'm nutty), a dog, 3 rats, a husband (never forget the helpmate!), a house that never wants to stay neat, a short story that wants to be a novel under deadline...
But, I told my kids and my husband that November was going to be the time to dig deep. Everyone is pitching in to give me more time to write--except the kitties. They really like to get between me and my laptop screen.
I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year, which means that I'm going to write 50,000 words this month--that's almost half the length of Fluency which at one point was 100K, but by publication time had been whittled down to 89K. This means I have to write, at minimum, 1667 words per day to "win" the challenge. I've attempted NaNo before, or contests like it, but writing that many words per day is difficult for me, since I'm a very slow writer. This month, I'm trying to change that. This year I aim to pull through. I want to get the sequel to Fluency, REMANENCE, to you as much as you want to read it. If you are NaNo-ing too, find me at the link above!
I just finished a rather long short story that will be featured in an upcoming anthology with some fantastic SF authors called Alien Chronicles. You can already get Robot Chronicles and Telepath Chronicles is available for pre-order now!
When Alien Chronicles is available for pre-order you can bet your sweet bippy I'll be telling you about it. It should be released in January AND the short I wrote is a prequel to another novel series I'm working on (set aside while I write the sequel to Fluency) called DRUID, which is a super hero origin story. Expect that book in late 2015 or early 2016, after REMANENCE (Book 2 of Confluence) is released.
Jennifer Foehner Wells
I'm an author of the Space Opera variety.