Monday, December 18, 2006

Will the last man on the planet take out the garbage?

The Children of Men: P.D. James

I read this long ago. Surprisingly not that well-written. Characters lecture and not in their own voices. As a science fiction novel she doesn't know science - this is a big "what if" novel. In this case the "what if" is what if suddenly no children are born. An example of the lack of science is there is no explanation and it affects everyone world wide even if they had children before. The second half of the book is dissidents protecting a pregnant woman and her miracle child. Reminds me a bit of Walter Mosley's science fiction that isn't - "what ifs" explored to see if they make interesting stories. He is also a mystery writer, Devil in a Blue Dress, going outside his genre.

The movie, due out this week, changes a lot of the characters.

Much much better than I expected is the Last Man on Planet Earth (1999)
During a war with Afghanistan, a weapon called the "Y-bomb" was used, which resulted in the deaths of 97% of the world's men. Feeling that they were better off without males, the women of Earth decided to outlaw men because they were too violent. 20 years later, scientist Hope Chase, fearing for the future of the species, conducts a cloning experiment to produce a new male of the species, whom she names Adam. When Adam reaches maturity, he soon finds himself on the run from the FBI, and hiding out with small rebel bands of the last remaining men.
I saw this on the Sci-Fi Channel and was expecting one of their typical poor movies. My opinion seems to be a lonely one as most seem to find this a "males are inherently violent, disgusting, war-causing beasts" rant. I was drawn to it by the strong female characters and interesting depiction of the society.

Update: This looks like a good place to post about the unsuccessful struggle to get a director's cut of Until the End of the World in the United States. Some thoughts on the film.

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