Jun 13, 2019

Billy's Books 20: Electric Forest

Electric Forest by Tanith Lee

This seems to be a variation on Frankenstein set in a Brave New World. I say Tabitha Lee instead of Tanith Lee. Please forgive me. I was recovering from a cold.

I'm now convinced that this is feminist literature. I wouldn't dare to draw any conclusions as to the meanings or lessons, but the content and imagery are substantive and rewarding nonetheless.

An ugly woman (her nickname is "Ugly") is given a new, attractive body by a rich, condescending mad scientist named Claudio. She must still carry her old haggard body around with her for survival. It's a burden she must never forget. She is named Magdala, as in "Mary of Magdala, a thoroughbred whore," as he constantly reminds her. An example of a supporting character is a woman named Nada. That should be enough right there, for 1979.

So many great quotes in this book! Church memories on planet Indigo, where they "pray to the letter T":
"While they sang, the little children had inflicted surreptitious hurts on Magdala, and she had never been able to concentrate. Christ took no notice, which was not surprising, for he too, apparently, was a good-looking man."