Oryx and Crake
Lots to think about with this novel...
How far away is Margaret Atwood's vision of the future? Much of what she described in Oryx and Crake is already in its infancy. There are already eight-legged goats that produce spider silk! Alright, I made up the eight-legged part, but the spoats are real. More info can be found in this BBC article.
Pleeblands are already losing territory to the 'compounds'. Gated communities exist in many countries around the world, serving in part to increase property value, but many simply see it as a way of separating Us from Them, the economic class divide. There is a certain paranoia present among the ultra rich that they need protection from the ultra poor. Whether or not this is true, there is a certain feeling there that seems to increase as the divide between rich and poor increases.
Who are the ultra wealthy? Talk to the creators of Viagra. Companies like Monsanto who manufacture hormones to increase milk production in cattle... even though there is already enough milk produced without it (see the film The Corporation). Pharmaceutical companies seem to be in the business of creating disease as much as they are in the business of curing them ADD, ADHD etc. Or should I say maintaining them. Cures are over and done with once the ailment is gone. Disease management lasts forever in the absence of a cure. Ever notice that there is enough dilaudid prescribed to allow for a thriving black market?
Shoot... I have to go, I'll add more later!
Something that I enjoyed about this novel was that it seemed almost ordinary at first. There are already plenty of hybrids walking around on secret farms, and life as described in the beginning of the novel was not too far off what it is today. It was only when Snowman was first off to school, and his visits with Crake, that the horror of it all set in with me.
All for $$$...