Saturday, March 17, 2018

Anderson, M.T. Landscape With Invisible Hand.

Anderson, M.T. Landscape With Invisible Hand. Candlewick Press    2017 149p $16.99   ISBN 978-0-7636-8789-2  hs  Science Fiction  E     
Adam Costello has come up with a plan to survive the alien invasion.  The vuvv, an advanced, uber-capitalistic civilization that has landed on Earth, has allied itself with Earth’s wealthiest citizens, who live in luscious and luxurious sky homes. Meanwhile, back on the ground, technology and automation have created a planet where jobs are scarce, diseases run rampant, and the environment has been severely compromised. 

When Adam’s father runs away, his mother, unable to find work, rents part of their home to boarders, and thus begins the romance between teens Adam and Chloe.  The vuvv has a weakness for old-school American art, customs, and culture, including 1950’s TV. Adam and Chloe become reality TV stars by allowing the vuvv to watch their relationship 24/7,  a relationship based on '50’s-style customs and dating.  Adam and Chloe are a huge financial hit, but they grow to hate one another, and are sued for breach of contract and fraud. 

Adam’s next plan involves his art. He is extraordinarily talented, and he enters a contest that could bring him fame and fortune, or at least a bit of financial security.  But, while the vuvv adore his landscapes of a long-ago Earth, he prefers his works that realistically portray the actual hideousness of his world.  Should he be true to his art, or to the vuvv?

M. T. Anderson is the master of satire involving technology, automation, and those left behind. His humor is wry and his hero is the perfect foil for this cautionary tale, which will result in both laughter and reflection.   

Short science-fiction books are hard to come by. Yet, despite its brevity, this novel requires of the reader a certain level of sophistication and appreciation of satire in order to be enjoyed.      

Summary: In the future, an alien race, the vuvv, colonizes Earth, promising an end to drudgery and disease. Yet for Adam Costello and most humans, the reality brings sickness, joblessness, and poverty.        

Aliens-Fiction                                     --Lisa Teixeira

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