Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Stone Gods-Jeanette Winterson

The Stone Gods
Jeanette Winterson
Harcourt, Apr 2008, $24.00
ISBN: 9780151014910

“Planet Blue”. Orbus is dying; some will say died. The planetary residents destroyed their home by polluting everything. However, led by Captain Handsome and with Billie Crusoe and robo sapien Spike as part of the crew, they escape their madness by discovering a perfect blue planet, but must rid this new earth of its dominant species. While the humans plan on their usual mass destruction to solve a problem, Billie and Spike fall in love. They send an asteroid to crash planet-side, destroying the dinosaurs that would have made colonization difficult.

“Easter Island”. In 1774 the longboats arrive to be greeted by the giant monuments, but first they must control the natives before they explore. As is the human way, the newcomers plan on mass destruction to restrain the islanders even as Billie and Spike fall in love.

"Wreck City”. The 3 War along with previous out of control pollution to keep the economy strong has left many places like Wreck City as no zones. These unfit places are expanding as pollution and war has wrecked the once blue planet turning it into a sickly gray. Those with wealth know it is time to escape this dying world and find a new earth to colonize even as Billie and Spike fall in love.

This poignant cautionary tale focuses on the theory that humans as a species or as individuals never learn from previous mistakes; if a person as a child touches a hot stove, his or her child will not heed their advice and touch the hot stove. With little hope, Jeannette Winterson provides a withering condemnation of mankind who she asserts cannot help it that our DNA contains pandemic (as a society) and localized (as a person and family) destructive genes. As Zager and Evans say in 2525: “He's taken everything this old Earth can give. And he ain't put back nothing”. However, instead of Judgement Day, we leave behind our mess for those struggling to survive and cannot afford escape.

Harriet Klausner

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