Nick Black's Reviews > 1632

1632 by Eric Flint
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's review
Dec 25, 2009

bookshelves: have-ebook, warily-considering

Recommended from a strange place: I'm gonna ride this one out precisely until it gets ridiculous, and at that point drop it like a bad habit.

btw, doesn't this remind you of The Handmaid's Tale? (before you ask, "FLK problem" refers to Funny Looking Kid, not Fetal Liver Kinase. The Health Physics Society keeps an excellent FAQ regarding pregnancy + radiation here. Don't ask me how I know this, as I'm unsure myself):

"The ugly side of life continues. We do the same with food. Food and water are checked for radioactivity. The clean food goes to the children and young women, the more contaminated food to the lower priority groups. That old woman? She gets the self-frying steaks. Abortion and contraception are likely to be highly illegal. We MUST have those babies. There will be more than enough parents who have lost their own (or have received too high a radiation dose to chance the FLK problem) to look after any that are unwanted. Women are enslaved by their reproductive systems (again). Don't like that, but there is nothing we can do about it. The social pressure on women to have children will be immense in both material and moral senses. Women who can have children get the best of everything: the cleanest and best food, the most comfortable housing, the most careful protection. Women who can have children but refuse to do so will be social outcasts (and in this sort of society, to be an outcast is virtually a death sentence). We're likely to see a situation where women of childbearing age are "protected" by severe restrictions ("don't go outside the house, the radiation may harm your babies" gets abbreviated to "don't go outside"). This is a grim and disturbing picture; we take an old woman out of her house and throw her in the snow to provide shelter for a pregnant mother and her children - then lock her in. Newborn babies obviously damaged by radiation are likely to be killed on the spot. That may or may not be justifiable; I think it's inevitable."

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