This final drag fills my tired lungs as the red tip of this white cancer stick glows. My mind covets the rush of this smoke, tricking my good senses to envelop in the temporary and forget that it's killing me. I feel light headed and I know I need to let it out.
We're all going to be eternally disappointed that we'll never read Margaret Atwood or David Mitchell's newest story. But this project is as close to a guarantee as we can get that someone, maybe our own children and grandchildren, will read a little piece of our present.
One way or another, you've heard of "The Handmaid's Tale." For decades, the title has been feminist shorthand for the kind of future that's likely for women if Christian fundamentalists have their way.
A possible threat to national security is perhaps more understandable, but getting a prior restraint on a book for national security is near impossible; getting a book banned because people cuss or if the content is "ungodly" (look out Harry Potter books!) is a lot easier.
The debate over whether SF is literature or genre fiction is ultimately far less important than the fact that such novels and movies have long challenged us to rethink not only what is possible, but also what is desirable about our collective future -- with or without sunglasses.
If you can't judge a book by its cover, can you judge a book by its title? I ask that because there are some novels with a title character who is not the most prominent or interesting person in the book.
Could women really be less interested in the seemingly universal (and universally terrifying) theme of the world's end? Doubtful. So why aren't there more women-penned apocalyptic cultural offerings out there?