Holy Fire
by Bruce Sterling

There are no plagues, no revolutions, no diseases, no guns and people live practically forever. But the Utopia is a far away. The perfect world has become a dystopia. At least for the young people, because they aren't allowed to live.

In his novel Holy Fire, Bruce Sterling, projects Holy Fire a different future. Different from what one is used to picture. The world never failed, it's not post-war, in fact thw world is probably most thing we would call Utopia.
    People do not elder as fast, the evolution has reached the phase where middle aged is around sixty and people in their twenties are still kids. Literary speaking.
    Mia Zieman is pushing a hundred, though who has the looks and physique of a woman in her thirties. She is wealthy, but the road there was not one of the ones leading to Rome.
    Escaping in a moment of confusion, or rather clear seeing, after life extension treatment she becomes Maya, and finds herself an illegal alien in Europe. She begins to see different upon the world she took part of creating. Something seen with fearsome eyes by the genocrats (the old people), because in a world where lethal nerve gas can be easily produced of any public tincture, where drugs are legal to possess, and the world in perfect order, descendants are as dangerous as people can be. If anyone would think of becoming a terrorist.

The book enholds devastating (wonderfully devastating) quotes explaining the world in few words, making me nod my head to those irresistible words. "// and life just isn't short any more," Maya says in a conversation with her young rebellic friend, Benedetta. Ars Longa, vita brevis isn't true any longer, because art is still long, but so is life. Perhaps even longer.
    As Maya helps a friend bury her sixty years old boyfriend — a black hand Mafioso, in his best years — who have committed suicide and insist on silence of the death, I can not resist a little smile on those lips. Silence till death is not enough any longer, now you have to keep silent for ever.

The book is criticizing our society, the American society, in a different, but perhaps a more realistic way. Very Sterling, very interesting. Perhaps somewhat hard digested, but in the end very astute. Definitely worth reading.

robin



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