Thursday, March 30, 2006

Beggars Ride

To Jackson's surprise, Vicky smiled. "Law only works if the majority agree to let it. Don't you know that? No, of course you dont. You're a simple binary code. On for your own interest, off for everybody else. You could be dipped by a child. And you were."

Cazie said angrily, "Ad hominem sophistry isn't argument."

"You're not a hominem. You're not even a synonym. You're a redundant code in the human information, and you're already obsolete."

I applaud. This is from Nancy Kress's Beggars Ride, a superb book that no one should miss. But how many of you have you actually heard of it, not to mention the author? I really mourn that fact, that a lot of you are missing a lot.

I mean, how many times have I wished that there's at least someone I know who reads the kind of sci-fi that I do? I can just imagine the philosophical discussions, the story analyses on the works of great men like Isaac Asimov and HG Wells. Add to that Jules Verne, if I have to mention the popular ones. I've introduced sci-fi to Cc, but his heart is not in it. He's more for Carlos Bulosan, AV Hernandez, and NVM Gonzales. Oh well. Two opposite poles in mitosis.

I thought that i will at least meet someone in college to let out all my thoughts, thoughts that may be awarded at least a degree of understanding. But there's no one. Yet.

Anyway, Beggars Ride is about the future (note:sci-fi is not always about the future, so there is no 'of course'). It portrayed the kind of future that will make V want to die later than the dramatic time he chose to. Sleepless and SuperSleepless (those people who have been genetically programmed not to sleep and are therefore smarter and more productive than the normal people, the Sleepers) have withdrawn into Sanctuary, situated on the moon. The Sleepers, on the other hand, are divided into two camps: the Donkeys and the Livers. Donkeys are those stuffed-assed, overpriveleged citizens who live in exclusive Enclaves, protected by top-of-the-line technology against Livers who are the lower, uneducated class.

That was a very simplified precis of the story, because it doesn't cover all the double-crossing, genetic science and ethics, and individual struggles engraved in the book. Suffice it to say that the novel depicts a more defined class distinction, each class warring over control and apathy among each other.

The story is very complex, and is only a sequel to the Beggars of Spain by the same author. Imagine my elation at finding the original story in an sci-fi anthology about 3 years back, since I've read Beggars Ride when I was in 5th grade and wanted since then to read the book before it. Well, yeah, I haven't read the book, but I've read the short story that set off the book, which is almost good enough.

My dear, I am ranting. I can't help it. But if you've skipped lines and paragraphs and plan to do so again, i'll finish this with an explanation of the title, which is not really an explanation.

"If wishes were horses, then beggars might ride."
John Ray, English Proverbs, 1670


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6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i too mourn the fact that you miss out on all the filipino lit. they are ours and they are closer to our hearts because they write with the language all our own. they speak with the tongue so close to our hearts.

4:42 PM  
Blogger lizette said...

well then, the feeling is mutual. Isnt that nice? the fact that you're typing in english does not enforce your argument...err, statement. hi chachan! i miss you.

4:54 PM  

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