Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ragamuffin

pg 105

"All ten of us were women, Jamar. We gave up our wombs and in return were fitted with quantum computers running intrusion devices that can overpower lamina and make it extensions of our minds. It would be like being one with your ship, but anywhere. Your mind replicates, copying itself endlessly until you have control of all it is in contact with."

He looked at her, face pained. "Your wombs?"

"I saw what happened to the other nine when they attacked the Hongguo who intercepted our ship. They destroyed the Hongguo ship, but their bodies died as they took over the Hongguo ship's lamina. It's bomb. You can't unexplode it, and when it happens, you are that lamina. You're no longer human."

Wait a minute. HAS HER WOMB BEEN REPLACED BY A BOMB? (is this the only place they could put it? A womb is not really a huge organ, you know. Did they take out her pancreas, too? Why not her pancreas? And her appendix? And half of her small intestine? Surely she lost a lot more than her womb? And why, as a clone, would she attach any significance to her womb? But then, how does their brand of cloning work? Do they birth their own clone babies in wombs or vats? This is what happens when there are big chunks of missing backstory)

Oh, you can bet I'm going to be writing up a review of this one.

2 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Jennifer said...

Okay, so it's been a bit of time since I read the book and then I loaned it out to someone else, so I can't check this, but...

In "Soon I Will Be Invincible", I think they put something or other in the female cyborg's womb. I want to say "nuclear fusion device," but it was some kind of wacky power source or other...

Kameron Hurley said...

Yeah, you know, a womb is about the size of a fist. Taking it out will give you more room, but so will taking out a guy's parts, too. And your pancreas. And your appendix.

I would have been more interested in this particular bit of there had been more exploration of the cultural significance of the womb. I mean, she sounds really sorry about it "they took out my woooomb!" but I just can't see that it would be something she'd mourn all that much. Was she trying to shock this person, who she believed would have more cultural significance attached to it?

I just don't know, because it clips along quite well, fight scenes and dialogue, which is great, again, don't get me wrong, but I'm a sword and sociology type writer. I want to know what all this tech will *mean* to people. I want to know what it *feels* like. Pretending that we're all going to be machines in the future might be everybody's great dream, but you know, even androids may dream of electric sheep...