Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The Hermit of Houston by Samuel R. Delany

To use a term from this story, it was a batshit crazy world, in large part because the narrator was an unreliable source.

The future sees humanity returning to a kind of tribalism where countries and borders no longer exist.

Certain parts of our present world remain, Facebook has been replaced by Handbook, the internet is still there, movies too and there is a space program hinted at.

But because society is highly localized, our ability to get a full picture is hindered.  Which is the point, I am sure, but I was continually frustrated by this fact.

I am uncertain about what I got out of it.  A planet without countries is naturally the default setting on Earth, but since I’ve only ever known this kind of political system, I found the concept difficult to accept.

Political entities, such as countries, no matter how incredibly flawed, have served to move humanity forward and to view the world from a higher vantage point.  To return to the microcosm of the tribe would be the bleakest evolution I could imagine.

So I guess it is an apt story for our times.

Writing these reviews sometimes helps me to make sense of what I read.  In The Hermit of Houston, I found the setting much more compelling than the story itself.

Interesting stuff.

Samuel R Delany’s Wiki page -

Samuel R Delany

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