Paulliver (paulliver) wrote in bookish,

Darwin’s Children

I mostly followed the science in Greg Bear’s “Darwin’s Children.” It was a lot easier to follow the fear; this novel really was about how people react to fear of the new in personal and political ways. And also how the personal trumps the political in the long run. Public fear of mutant births (which apparently give them a new biology that makes them morally superior but without the super powers that would allow them to thrive despite being outnumbered), means the government sends the kids to institutions that are a cross between private schools and prisons. A few mutants gave off diseases after achieving reproductive maturity and it is implied the government starts shooting kids who hit puberty because of that. But so many parents lose their mostly harmless children to the government that a resistance movement begins, often including local police forces, and an underground for keeping their “new children” with their families.

The only weakness of the book is that it skips over how the government overcomes its fears and restores democratic liberties for all after entering a state of emergency to deal with a false threat. After all, in our own real history, the government has only sort of kind of pushed back against encroachments. We’re still arguing about warrants, our off shore prisons are still operating, and we have more problems with airline security rather than less. Our executive branch of government has consistently become more powerful, usually slowly but sometimes rapidly, such as during the Lincoln, FDR, and GWB administrations.
Tags: author: b, genre: science fiction, review

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