Avasarala Gets All the Love

The writers and producers working on Amazon’s sci-fi saga, The Expanse, are not at all subtle in their favoritism. Crisjen Avasarala (played by Shohreh Aghdashloo) gets the best lines, the best costumes, and the best bling. It’s hard to complain, though, when she’s 80% of what makes The Expanse worth watching.

The lady takes no shit, gives zero fucks, and has a hell of a time doing it.

Click this image to watch on YouTube…

Incidentally, readers of the Foreigner novels by C. J. Cherryh might understand what I mean when I say that while read Ilisidi’s dialogue I imagine her sounding like Shohreh Aghdashloo—but without the profanity.

Theory of Bastards

I borrowed Audrey Schulman’s 2018 literary sf novel Theory of Bastards from the public library last week and finished it last night.

paperback of Audrey Schulman's Theory of Bastards

I had been intrigued by the premise: a novel about a woman recovering from endometriosis and researching sexual behavior in bonobo apes in a high-tech near future, but about two thirds of the way in the story went post-apocalyptic.

Not that I mind post-apocalyptic sf—I write it myself—but this is how Theory of Bastards ends. Frankie doesn’t get to test her titular hypothesis, let alone write a paper and present it. She’s just wandering across North America and is apparently the new matriarch of the troop of bonobo apes she had been researching.

I was a little disappointed, to be honest. It wasn’t what I expected, and it didn’t end the way I had hoped. Because even in the future nothing works, and mere survival is supposed to be enough.

I might have been more receptive to a “survival is enough” narrative before COVID-19 of course. It’s not Ms. Schulman’s fault I found this novel in the middle of a plague.