The Men

The Men
By Sandra Newman

In her acknowledgments at the end of The Men Sandra Newman gives thanks to a number of earlier feminist SF writers who had imagined all-female societies, mentioning the names of Joanna Russ, Alice Sheldon, and Sherri Tepper. The list could have been extended quite a bit further though, to the Herland of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Begum Rokeya’s Ladyland, or even medieval and classical models. It is an enduring fantasy.

The story here has it that all the males in the world (defined as bearers of a Y chromosome) instantly disappear one day. This leaves Jane Pearson to scramble about a manless California, reflecting on various social justice matters and whether this gender-biased version of the Rapture is a good thing.

Though there are many feminist forebears, the real presiding spirit is Stephen King, who has created many such apocalyptic landscapes. The fate of the men is also King-like, as they appear to have been uploaded to a kind of digital purgatory where they are tormented by demons. What it all adds up to though is left a bit fuzzy.

A timely parable, and that not always in a good way, The Men has already generated its share of controversy. One suspects that readers are likely to either find it too political or not enough.


8 thoughts on “The Men

  1. Digital purgatory.
    While the idea of VR and things like the Matrix are cool for books and movies, what concerns me is that people think it is somehow possible. They’ve bought into the idea that our brains are just organic computers.
    They just conveniently forgot how much everything is tied together AND they forget about the spiritual, on purpose as far as I’m concerned.

    If it is similar to King I’ll definitely avoid. I just can’t read that kind of stuff anymore. And preachy politics should be reserved for non-fiction 😀


      1. I know how you pick movies, (seemingly at random from your library) but how do you pick the books you read? THere must be some sort of method to your madness…


      2. For new SF it’s mainly off of what are major releases that are getting some buzz. Plus I try to stay away from series. I’ll do the odd trilogy, but I don’t cover franchises that go on without end.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That must really limit your options then. Series are like the new serials 😦
        Imagine if Little Dorrit were 5000 pages long
        (now I’m just depressing myself)


      4. It really does limit things a bit. It’s remarkable to look over the slates of upcoming releases and seeing just reams of books in series. But there are still a lot of good standalone works coming out and limited series. Like I say, a trilogy I can stick with but anything more and you’re just milking it.

        Liked by 1 person

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