on 5 July 2005
Royton Library in the mid 70s and a younger slimmer me is browsing the shelves for a good read. I come across an author on the sci-fi shelves who looks promising. At this time the media was full of 'What-If' films and books predicting what life could be like after the Apocalypse that seemed just around the corner.
What makes this book so original in my eyes is the premise of society's collapse with women coming out on top, and men outlawed as vermin to be hunted by elite troops as part of a national extermination programme.
I loved the idea of society's reversal in one of his other books, where women increasingly take over the roles of men. 'Who Needs Men' takes this to an extreme, where technology has allowed women to eliminate men from the procreation cycle - futuristic then but a distinct possibility now.
If you like apocalyptic sci-fi, but with an intersting twist, I can thoroughly recommend this book. I just wish it would get reprinted!
on 24 March 2011
This is a tale about a future where women rule the UK (and no doubt elsewhere) and the few men still living are being hunted down and killed by women specially trained as exterminators. Men are to be killed because their inherent violence makes them too dangerous to be allowed to continue to live, but the irony comes from the fact that it is the women who are doing most of the killing here. As usual Edmund Cooper has created a highly imaginative scenario and tells his story beautifully but it is very bleak. There is quite a bit of violence including a rape, also some lyrical descriptive passages, but ultimately the story lacks a sense of hope. Cooper also explored the tension between the sexes in a dystopian future in his earlier book Five to Twelve and some people may find, as I did, that book more enjoyable because it gives a sense of hope. This one is certainly worth reading but be aware it's not a bundle of joy.