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The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1)
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2014 P.K. Dick Nominees > The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

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message 1: by Michael, NWC Goodreads Group Admin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Michael Hanscom (djwudi) | 137 comments Mod
Have you read this nominee? What did you think?


message 2: by Michael, NWC Goodreads Group Admin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Michael Hanscom (djwudi) | 137 comments Mod
Very good. I'm just a somewhat burned out on post-apocalyptic fiction; even the best stories tend to be overly quite depressing, with people doing their best to survive in horrible circumstances.


Kathy | 5 comments I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was similar to A Hamdmaiden's Tale without being duplicative. I also liked the ending.


Shelley George | 23 comments Yeah another post-apocalyptic. But I really liked this one. It wasn't mystical or included superpowers. It felt very real. And the midwife was just a person who figured out how to make a difference. I hope I could make good enough decisions if I were in this situation.


Kallen Kentner (kallenkentner) | 4 comments Just started this one for GeekyLibrary and I am entranced. If only I hadn't started it on my lunch break!

It's a hard book to shake off.


message 6: by Teya (new) - added it

Teya | 2 comments I don't say this about a book very often, because I usually find some redeeming qualities, bit not this time- I disliked this book from start to. Was glad when I finished it-


Kallen Kentner (kallenkentner) | 4 comments I was really surprised by this one. It was a brutal read for me, but I liked the spin on the apocalyptic. I agree with SHelley, It felt very real. I gave it 4 stars, knocking back a star because the writing style was often hard to follow.

I am getting a tad tired of all the post-apocalyptic scenarios though. I more of a Star Trek gal— I'd like to see a little more optimism about our future.

That's not a comment on the quality of this book though, just a personal reflection.


Michelle Morrell (vylotte) | 34 comments Following through with the topic over on Maplecroft, do you feel this novel fits within the Philip K Dick ideal? Or even, should post-apocalyptic fiction be considered "science fiction?

I've got perhaps 50 pages left, myself.


message 9: by Michael, NWC Goodreads Group Admin (last edited Mar 13, 2015 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Michael Hanscom (djwudi) | 137 comments Mod
I'm more okay with post-apocalyptic fiction being encompassed within SF. It's a little hard to quantify, but the combination of the future setting (even if society's downfall gives it a less-than-what's-normally-considered-"futuristic" feel) and generally some SF-ish reason for the collapse (in the case, a mysterious superbug plague) makes it work for me.

That said, I'm in definite agreement with Kallen in being burned out on post-apocalyptic worlds, and a definite preference for the underlying optimism of Star Trek (one of the (many) major areas in which STID failed, I think…the first reboot film, while not without problems, at least still felt and looked right in many ways that STID did not).


message 10: by Kallen (last edited Mar 13, 2015 11:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kallen Kentner (kallenkentner) | 4 comments Genres continues to evolve... look at Steampunk... if it concentrates on the machinery it feels sci-fi, but often types it feels more like fantasy.

The speculative fiction umbrella better fits apocalyptic fiction than science fiction in many cases. After all, Hunger Games is often categorized as sci-fi...which feels very strange to me personally.

Dystopian science fiction and Game of Thrones type fantasy really challenge the "escapism" idea of sci-fi and fantasy. I like Star Trek: TOS— adventure without the depressing aspect. And my biggest issue with STID is it felt like lazy writing. Less of a tribute and more of a copy.

But honestly, Book of the Unnamed Midwife reminded me of the first part of Earth Abides (1949) by George R. Stewart and that has long been considered classic sci-fi (although that book has a little more of an optimistic bent). I say it works.


Michelle Morrell (vylotte) | 34 comments I'm still calling post-apocalyptic fiction my favorite genre, even though it's getting harder and harder to find the truly innovative story. And I do consider it acceptable under the broad umbrella of SF, it's taking humanity to its extremes under a speculative or extrapolated future.

As for this novel, I did like it quite a lot, mostly for the main character who is messy and complicated in a truly believable manner. Though anyone who would head towards Utah for the winter instead of the PNW is not thinking straight!


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