Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Even the Queen" by Connie Willis

So the day got away from me (again) yesterday, and I wasn't ablet to post. It seems to be getting to be a theme of the is blog, actually. Anyway, to make up for it, I have random ruminations on two new stories coming up.

I really enjoyed Connie Willis' "Even the Queen" although, as a man, I'm not sure I can ever understand it. It revolves around the idea of a future in which women have been forever freed from the menstrual cycle through a drug called ammenerol and special shunts, and a small group of anti-shunt activists called "Cyclists" (Willis uses the, admittedly pretty funny, bicycle joke a few times). All of this is explored through a single family in which the main character's daughter, an obvious "black sheep" has recently decided to join the Cyclists.

The story itself, while serious in subject matter, is pretty light in tone, and surprisingly humourous. The characters are incredibly human, and, at times, very funny. While, like I said before, I could never understand the idea of being freed from something from menstruation (or for that matter, why some women would see menstruation as the perfect expression of their feminine selves), I still enjoyed the story as a whole, and understood the arguments being made on both sides (although I think Willis does skew the story to be strongly anti-Cyclist).

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