Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review: Woman on the Edge of Time

Having now hit the year of my birth (1976) in my copy of David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Books published in English from 1945 to 1985, the stories are getting a little different for me; Although some of the concepts and technology still requires me to look them up, I'm getting to the point where I'm sharing the same (or at least a similar) frame of reference with the author and the target audience.

Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time is a little different from most of the science fiction I've come across, as much of the story can either be viewed as a tale of a telepath or the ravings of a crazy person.

The story, taking place in 1976, follows Consuela (Connie) Ramos, a 37-year-old woman who begins to book by being unjustly sentenced to a mental institution by her niece's boyfriend and also happens to be receiving telepathic transmissions, and visits, from a few hundred years in the future.

The book moves back and forth between Connie's psychic visits to a pretty Utopian future world (it's not perfect, but pretty close) and her attempts to escape or graduate from the institution she finds herself in (which is pretty similar to Ken Kessey's 1962 novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). 

A lot of what I really liked about the novel (which I viewed as actual visits from the future, btw), was how easy it would be to discount Connie's experiences and assume they are a fantastic world she has created for herself, but I found the book to be much more interesting if viewed as actual visits from and to the future.

A Fascinating Read!

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