Saturday, October 21, 2017


Kit Whitfield's latest novel, ISBN 978-0345491657, is a bit of a REVELATION.  I just read it last week and I have to say, it's looking as if might HAUNT ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

PLOT SUMMARY:  Imagine what the world would be like if, back in the day, a NAKED VENUS stepped out of a filthy canal in old Venice, wrung out her hair, and TOOK OVER THE CITY.  She got married to the landscum a "Landsman" and they had a great many children who became the foundation of the Venician royal family.  All the other royal families realized what a GOOD THING they were onto in Venice and sought out those kids to marry their own kids.  Before you can say "Eat A Human For Lunch" there were piscatorial operatives ruling every country in the WORLD.


>> This is not just a wish-fufillment fantasy.  It's a dystopian horror story as told from the POVs of a piscatorial princess, held captive to family duty and medieval chicanery, and a very young finboy named Henry who's being held captive in a nobleman's house in England.  The author starts by laying out the DREAM, and then in typical human dystopian-writer fashion, she twists it around into a NIGHTMARE.

>> It's pretty disturbing to me, how well the author appears to UNDERSTAND and DISPLAY exactly where fish thinking overlaps with -- and departs from -- human thinking.  It's almost as if she KNEW us.  It's almost as if she WERE one of us.  

>> She relieved my anxiety on THAT score by making the Deepsmen (as she calls them) a COMPLETELY NEW AND UNKNOWN SPECIES.  Clearly a species that descended from HUMANS, as if it were not ENTIRELY THE OTHER WAY AROUND in real life.  So maybe she was JUST GUESSING.

>> But then she hooks around again and solves the core conflict of the story -- THE SAME ONE YOU OR I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN AS THE MOST DISTRESSING PROBLEM TO SOLVE -- in very much the way WE would have solved it.  It's creepy as anything.  


I want to discuss this at the next monthly chapter meeting.  GET A COPY.  READ IT.   Fear not -- although it seems at first like it's going to be another "young adult" novel, it is complex, well-written and well worth the time spent reading it.  And she only screwed up the period-appropriate grammar with anachronisms a couple of times.


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