Imagine a world where STDs are not only socially acceptable, but the more outré the virus, the more status the “victim” has. This is the setting of Sequela, taking place in a near future London, mostly isolated from the rest of the world as the new Sodom. Kester Lowe is an academic virologist, looking to leave for the glitz and glamor of developing new STDs for a private firm. As you may guess, sex is a major component of the book, starting early as Kester shares his sample new STD to his prospective boss at the end of his initial interview in the most natural way STDs are transmitted.
Slowly, you gain a fuller view of Kester’s world, but some potentially interesting history is overlooked. At no point is there an explanation of where the acceptance and desire for these new STDs came from. But beyond that, Sequela is an entertaining novel, finding new ground in a field that has explored many new ideas. The characters are well developed, even if many of them are unpleasant in personality. And Cleland Smith doesn’t take any easy shortcuts in the story, good guys don’t always win, bad guys don’t always get punished. Sequela, like real life, is messy.
There is a lot of sex, as one might expect from a book with this subject, but not so much as to disturb the general reader. The characters, while often flawed, are interesting in their desires and motivations, and Smith keeps the story interesting throughout. Visualizing a London in another 70 years, along with a major societal shift is one thing, making it seem “real” is another, and that is the essence of good science fiction. And by that standard, Sequela is good sci-fi.
|Page Count||404 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|