The Babi Makers
written by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson
published by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson
Why did I pick this book: I was asked by the author to review this book. Chrissy has reviewed a few of Mr. McPherson’s other books, so we accepted this request as well. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I’m not sure.
I was slightly nauseous the whole time I read. I’m still slightly nauseous. McPherson creates a seriously screwed up post-apocalyptic world in which people “farm” and eat babies, and I’ve been trying to channel my inner Jonathan Swift all week with little success. OM NOM NOM… babies?!
Readers know what’s going on right from the beginning of the book. We know that most food-grade babies get ground up & turned into other food by machines that kind of remind me of evil Star Trek replicators. We know that fresh babi (because it isn’t so bad if you spell it with an ‘i’) is a delicacy. We know that the residents of this post-apocalyptic nightmare are “milked” and “harvested” on a regular basis, and that they honestly have no idea where babies come from (or why they should be appalled about their diet).
Enter the plotline: a teacher who hints that babies may have, at one time, come from humans instead of farms. A not-quite-the-same-as-everyone-else adult and his girlfriend, who just happens to have an odd growth in her abdomen that no one can identify. An over-genetically engineered “life-babi” who can control minds. A dark conspiracy, and, of course, sex. Lots of it. In McPherson’s book, well, let’s just say the Babi Makers greet each other in a most solicitous manner. I’m almost brave enough to call it reverse sexism, but at the very least, one of the (many) evil bad guys appears to be evil because he believes men should only sleep with women. In McPherson’s world, relationship clusters contain as many members of each sex as the group is comfortable with, and monogamy is neigh unheard of.
It’s a strange book. The evil mind-controlling bad guy actually mind-controls two men to have a sexual encounter (all the while believing that coupling should only occur between a man and a woman). The community is apparently without violence, but people start killing each other the first chance they get. Ultimately I’m reminded of Newspeak – the people of Nove have lost not only the knowledge, but also the language they need to live any differently than the way they do. The Babi Makers is a true dystopian novel – it leaves readers feeling unsettled, horrified, and absolutely CERTAIN the same thing could never happen to them. Scary stuff.
Would I recommend it: Yes. Read it because it’s disturbing. Read it because it could happen to you.
Will I read it again: Nooooooo, but I may dig out A Modest Proposal for a second read.
About the book – from Goodreads: Welcome to Nové, a planet much like your own. There is no war or hunger. No conflict of any kind. It’s a “happy life ever” on this utopian world. Balance has finally been achieved after all life was nearly extinguished during The Fall. There is one major industry on Nové: the making of babies. Babies are the most important resource on the planet.
Hiperyan works in the babi industry. She loves assembling babies. Her life is perfect; her virile mate, Dion, is ideal. But she’s been feeling a little sick, of late. It’s a mysterious illness the likes of which has never been seen by the healers she visits. Concerned when the healers begin to die in a series of “accidents,” Dion teams with his best friend, Conr, to take action. They eventually discover that Hiperyan’s illness may jeopardize not only their lives, but all of Nové.
Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!