Thursday, June 24, 2004


I read a book recently which feels like it should already be famous. Or maybe it already is, since it's won some awards and a couple of people I mentioned it to had heard of it, but I hadn't. In the interests of making it a tiny bit more famous, I'm going to post here the little summary that I originally posted to

Feed by M.T. Anderson. It's YA SF. The blurb says...

"We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck." So says Titus, a teenager whose ability to read, write, and even think for himself has been almost completely obliterated by his "feed," a transmitter implanted directly into his brain. Feeds are a crucial part of life for Titus and his friends. After all, how else would they know where to party on the moon, how to get bargains at Weatherbee & Crotch, or how to accessorize the mysterious lesions everyone's been getting?"

But aside from the satire it's a sad story. There's a girl who's sick, and she talks about how when she tries to imagine living life to the fullest, all of the images that come to mind are the sort of thing that play over sitcom credits. Dancing, and going to the zoo, and riding the tilt-a-whirl, and going on a safari, and having a splashing fight at the beach. The only thing that comes to mind that's not sitcommy is the Mayan temple. She wanted to do that because she read a Mayan prayer for the preservation of civilization, written sometime before theirs fell. After she realizes that her dreams are cliches, she comes up with a new list. Dancing is still on it. And "Is there any moss anywhere?" And, "I want to see art. Like, I want to remind myself about the Dutch. I want to remind myself that they wore clothes and armor. That some of them fell in love while they were sitting near maps or tapestries." She wants to go to a store that sells only beer and jerky, and to pretend she's from Fort Wayne, Texas, and to actually *be* from Fort Wayne, Texas. And she wants to be old, the kind of old person who has a dog named Mithridates and wears cardigans.

It's written in a vernacular that is disturbingly close to my own. "I don't know if the others felt like I felt, about space? But I think they did, because they all got louder. I feel real sorry for people who have to travel by themselves. In space, that must suck."

Anyway, it's great.

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