Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Spartan Planet by A. Bertram Candler
Imagine a world without women, where reproduction is via machine, and all references to women in their history have been erased. I can't imagine how this would work, but it did, and for about 400 years in the novel Spartan Planet.
This book was selected by my local women only book club. We had quite the discussion to how this could have happened and would the response to the re-introduction of women happen as it did in the book. We all agreed that this book is somewhat dated, it was first published in 1969 at a time when most readers of science fiction were men. Given that women were not the expected audience, it's not surprising that it doesn't give a good impression of men left on their own, They spend their time drinking until they start fighting and call it all good fun.
We did find it odd that the men of the planet were immediately attracted to the foreign women even though they were thought to me deformed or monsters. Were pheromones at work or did it make for a better story line.
It was unanimous that it was definitely a worthwhile read, and that it's always good to explore the roots of various genres.
Thanks to reader Literary Feline for pointing out that a recent book, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, also features a town with no women. There are women on the planet, but in each village they have developed a different attitude toward them. Click the book title for a link for my earlier review of this book.
Some background knowledge of Sparta and the Spartan people would be helpful to understanding this society.
A website in tribute to A. Bertram Chandler has been created by David Kelleher.
Thank-you to Baen Ebooks for use of the cover image.
Check out this Wikipedia article to learn more about Ancient Sparta.