In the first book of the Thessaly trilogy, The Just City, the goddess of knowledge, Athene, decided to experiment with setting up Plato’s ideal city. Necessity is less philosophical, although it continues to explore interesting ideas.
Despite the implications of the title Crazyhead, the central premise of the show is that neither Raquel nor Amy have a history of mental health issues requiring the treatment they’ve been given (though both present as neuroatypical); both have been misdiagnosed. There are complications with this manner of navigating histories of mental health issues, especially for a show called Crazyhead.
Among the possible meanings of the excellent title Everything Belongs to the Future is the sense that the future shapes the past to its own ends by celebrating, or even inventing, the traditions it chooses.
The way these characters bimble from one set to another is, as in Prometheus, tremendously unawed, as though humans will be the most listless of spacefarers, meeting Dyson spheres and moon-henges with the same temporary curiosity; only parasitic infection perks them up.
The challenge for any sequel, of course, is to construct a new tale that amplifies the essence of the original work, while still innovating within its core universe. For Chambers, whose first book relied so much on the seamless integration of extensive cross-cultural discussion, this challenge deepened: could a second book in the series also use the outsider perspective to justify thoughtful, in-depth conversations between obliging sentients, and would doing so achieve the same effect for those already familiar with the universe of the first?
Oh, the delight of reading from a text with words like these, used well, embroidered, encoded, welded, hammered, melted into a vision of a strange land presented as normal and contrasted with the strangeness of a world the reader may think of as normality.
When she set out to write a book about the changing face of pregnancy and family over the next hundred years, Anne Charnock was stepping into a significant void, and it is thus not at all her fault that she has failed to fill it with only a single work.
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