Book Reviews

Dorian's Worlds by Allen Mack at JMS Books

Genre Bisexual / Futuristic / Science Fiction / Future Earth / Other Planets / Multiple Partners / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 20-May-2013

Book Blurb

On a future Earth, sex suppressants and tranquilizers are fed to youth at the onset of puberty, keeping them in perpetual servitude by the Revered Senior Classes. They're housed in sublevel cubicles beneath the city, with little ventilation, extreme heat, and complete lack of outdoor light. Homosexuality and bisexuality are encouraged to prevent a surplus of lower class citizens who might pose threats to Senior rule.

All menial Workers are trained to submit to sexual advances from any Senior with humility and enthusiasm. Medical advances have extended the Seniors' lives, making their rule virtually unending. Subordinate in every way, through training from early childhood, the lower Class has no recourse.

Then Dorian rebels. While in jail, he recruits others with the same attitude, who strive to leave Earth. But can they overcome the obstacles in their way to freedom?

 

Book Review

Wow, I really have no idea what to think about this book. It is rare that I am so conflicted about whether to like a story or to hate it. On the one hand, this is great sci-fi, a modern interpretation of Soylent Green (the film based on the 1966 science fiction novel Make Room! Make Room!, by Harry Harrison), Brave New World (by Aldous Huxley) and 1984 (by George Orwell) all merged into one. It updates some of the concepts of those stories and adds the consequences of what we are doing to ourselves and Earth; that part, I think is fascinating. On the other hand – and without giving too much away – it does not end well as I define it, to the point that I am still upset.

The way the story is told is interesting, and even though a large part of it is a flashback to Dorian's life on Earth, this did not bother me. As outrageous as this future world of sex-suppressants for the masses and utter servitude to "the Elders" may seem, once I look at it more closely, I can see the beginning of everything that led to this version of the future in today's world. A few very rich and powerful people are already in charge of much of the economy. Overpopulation still threatens, and our regard for the environment is nonexistent for the most part. So, as projections into the future go, this is a "realistic" one.

The consequences for interpersonal relationships are clear: sex for procreation is prohibited, the many serve the few, and class distinctions have become official and rigid. Dorian is the one who rebels, and sets in motion a mini-rebellion that makes a small group leave Earth. What then happens on Doriana, fills me with hope and despair in equal measure. I can see why they have a policy of "voluntary" ending of lives at a certain age, never wanting to be faced with Elders again, but, really? I have to ask myself how "free" that is.

In the end I have to say that this is a book that will stay with me for a long time. It grabbed my attention, since I wanted to find out what had happened in the past to create this weird society on Doriana. While I personally have a real issue with anything that is not a happy ending, I know many others will not find that a problem at all. With enough food for thought to keep anyone interested in our planet's future busy chewing on this for a while, in the end, I can only recommend you read it for yourself.

If you like sci-fi with human societies that are somewhat different from our own, if you enjoy finding out about their rules and ways of thinking as you read, and if you're looking for something that might not be quite as easy to digest as many other books, then you will probably like this short book.

 

 

 

 

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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 16727 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 05-May-2013
Price $3.19 ebook
Buy Link http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=30&products_id=808