Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hollow World

By: Michael J Sullivan
Location: FIC SUL
Genre: Sci Fi and Time Travel with lots of social issues chucked in.

This is a wonderful book about Ellis Rogers, a man who designs a one-way time machine. He has a terminal disease, and intends to jump about 200 years into the future, perhaps to find a cure for his disease. However, a miscalculation sends him about 2000 years into the future, and finds a society that lives in a beautifully sculpted underground "Hollow World".

In this world there are no longer two sexes--just one, androgynous sex, all genetically identical. The "three [technological] miracles" ensure that there are no wars, little strife, and no fear or want for resources. In a world where everybody does things (tattoos, clothing, etc.) to make himself stand out from the crowd of look-alikes, Ellis is instantly recognized as someone uniquely different.

However, Ellis is followed by an old friend of his, Warren, who sees the Hollow World as an abomination. He sees a society where there is no individuality, no striving, and no belief in God. Embedded within the story is a murder mystery which Ellis tries to unravel. This mystery gives the novel an exciting aspect, but the most interesting part of the story is actually the philosophical arguments between Ellis and Warren, when they discuss the pros and cons for the Hollow World society. Is it worth it to have a society where there is no war or famine or hardship, in exchange for the lack of individuality and striving? Is Hollow World a utopia or a dystopia

Sullivan tackles big issues in this novel, with everything from religion, identity, homophobia, death, and love being explored as Ellis considers his place in this new world as well as the world he left behind for a chance at a new beginning.
Review from Goodreads.com 

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