Monday, February 23, 2009

Banished to Eden


In his book, Banished to Eden, author U.S. Marine Sr. presents a science fiction story that takes readers to a futuristic world where society has become a government designed utopia. U.S. Marine tells a story of one woman’s struggle to find her humanity.

The world is the product of a tumultuous past between the United States of Americas and the Europa Union which caused people to move underground and live in sub cities. In the year 2245, the threat of nuclear war became realized and the result was overpopulation, disease, and famine that threatened to wipe out the entire human population. The Government took drastic action and put a chemical in the water that inhibited the human sex drive in order to stop reproduction. The Government then added another chemical in the water that reduced the biological differences between men and women. Laws were created where woman became the dominant gender and all references to sexuality, family, and relationships were outlawed. This included such luxuries as magazines, movies, music, and dancing. The Government becomes the all powerful entity controlling the future of its people.

Shannon is a chemist working in the water department. She is told by the Chief of the Water Department that she is being considered as her replacement. In order to replace the Chief, Shannon must volunteer to be a maternal candidate (become pregnant) in order to earn enough social credits to be considered for the position. Extra social credits allowed females to accumulate social points faster than males and this helped them obtain promotions over males. Shannon learns of humanity’s past and decides to stop drinking the water. As her physical features return, she becomes more in sync with her womanhood and her maternal side. An accidental miscarriage causes Shannon to take extreme and illegal measures to become pregnant again. Her plan involves the illegal seduction of the chosen father. When they are caught, they are put on trial for their crimes. The result is banishment to a new experimental world on the surface where they learn what it means to be human.

With its dystopian warning of the future, Banished to Eden is an intriguing and compelling novel that touches on many of the themes associated with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. In Banished to Eden, humanity consists of dehumanized people dominated by a technological empowered government. It is a futuristic science fiction novel that delves into many philosophical and ethical issues regarding free will, the role of men and women and how they are defined by society, the social consequences of a government with absolute power and control, and the human condition as it applies to love, family, and maternal instincts. Readers will be drawn into the plot and empathize with Shannon’s struggle to find her true self.

In regards to the writing style, I did find some instances where there could have been a little more “show” and a little less “tell.” Although I understand that using names of real people, such as Neil Armstrong, for a few characters was a symbolic tool, it probably wasn’t necessary. Other than a few minor points, the author has successfully created a believable work of science fiction.

Banished to Eden is a novel that is worthy of much discussion. I could see this book being adapted as a movie script. It is highly recommended as an entertaining and compelling work of science fiction.

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