I’m a member of the Nerdfighteria Online Book Club, so naturally, we took a break from our regularly scheduled two month reading time to discuss Hank’s newest book, A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor. This is the sequel to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which I found incredibly engaging.
I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to talk about this one with my book club friends. I’m not going to reproduce our conversation here, but I do want to hit one additional point not made in the sticky note.
For context, this book is the second in a duology. The messages about the wealthy creating spaces purported to be “the great equalizer” that are, in reality, inaccessible was loud and clear (sometimes I wanted the volume turned down a bit). But I think both of the books in this duology do what good #sciencefiction does: holds up a mirror to society and says, “This is what you look like,” or “this is what you will look like.” Definitely worth the read@thebooksupplier Sticky Note Reviews
One of the things we talked about in book club that I did want to talk about here was the attempt at including a gender neutral character. I was definitely like, “Oh, hey. That’s cool.” But the inconsistencies in pronouns I found a bit bothersome.
And then I thought about the timeline of the narrative. The April tells the events of the first book from a time after the events of the second book. If that is the case, why weren’t characters using they/them pronouns from jump?
What came up in our discussion was the speculation that perhaps this was a decision made between the writing of the first and second book. And, okay. That works.
BUT, then why doesn’t Carl’s brother use gender neutral pronouns as well?
Just some thoughts.