Till They Dropped, by Sue Knight, Reviewed.

till they dropped

Fantasy? Science Fiction? Magical Realism? This book is all of these. But it’s also a thoughtful, imaginative, and ultimately terrifying cross genre piece that stirs both emotions and ideas.

We’re plunged into an undefined land, except that it must be the so-called civilised world, in an undeclared time, which must be the future. What is clear quite quickly is the sense of threat, unreality, turmoil and confusion. This is a nightmare place with few answers to the many questions posed.

We follow the progress, if progress it can rightly be called, of the young woman trapped in this consumerist empire ruled by autonomous machines and AI. The suggestion is that society’s overbearing urge to consume, buy, and own, has been usurped by the serving machines and AI, which have initially enabled this pointless activity, then encouraged it. Without the moral restraints of humanity, the machines, guided by AI, decide that consumers may be fair game for consumption.

This world is depicted with great imagination and superb imagery. The relentless attempt to escape the banal but murderous entity that shopping has become is described with brief flashbacks that explain how this all came about.

A nightmare, brought to life, and populated by the innocents left in this world by previous generations of unthinking, greedy, selfish consumers. Beware!

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