Android Love, Human Skin
Welcome to a world of four genders. A dystopian science fiction novel that explores the nature of gender and sexual conflict, in a future utopia engineered by the union.
Society has been revolutionised by gender control and the technologisation of man and woman. In a future where a biochemical weapon has removed the skins of the population, the rulers hunt for the beautiful ones, those men and women who still have skins.
The union is the new government, a faceless body of politicians who were behind the order to use the weapon that backfired on them, leaving them skinless. In the glass citadel, the new utopia, where the only surviving humans with skin are placed, they recreate the world of gender by offering humans four types of robot with which to have relationships. All the humans are placed in relationships with machines, apart from Gerald, who appears to be a spy for the union and is filming the humans, and Elliott, a robot programmer.
The union watches it all, political voyeurs in a totalitarian state of enforced sexual ecstasies.
Humanity falls into four categories…
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When I first started reading Android Love, Human Skin, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The premise sounded interesting enough for me to want to delve into this new society that was created when the old society was gone after being ravaged by war. I never expected that within the pages there would be an underlying message that if you are not paying close enough attention to, you will miss it. I know I did because at the forefront of this story, there is a lot of sex, pages and pages of sex in every which way possible. I am pretty open minded to erotica, but even this surpassed any erotic novel that I have ever read. But, if you pay close enough attention, Richard Godwin throws out these tiny pieces of tidbits that are paramount to the story.
The government was being run by the Union, skinless politicians who were affected by the same chemical weapon they used to destroy the world. The union built a citadel, a pleasure palace for the few humans that were not affected and were able to maintain their own skin. In order to distract the humans they used pleasure as a controlling factor, introducing them to androids that could satisfy any sexual fetish that the humans desired. Desire and pleasure was used as a tool to keep the humans in line for the benefit of the politicians. Gender and roles become something different and we are introduced to four genders meant to satisfy any sexual craving and need. In essence, the Union controlled pleasure which in turn controlled the humans with skins.
I find the notion of four genders pretty fascinating given that our society is changing and has been changing for quite some time now as far as gender roles and how people identify themselves. I am not sure if this was intentional on the author’s part or just my perception of it, but it really opened up to how much gender plays a role in our society. Gender is not the only thing I took away from this story. Government plays a huge role and factor in our lives. Big Brother is always watching us and we may not want to admit it to ourselves, but the government controls all of us and gives us our own “pleasure” points as a distraction to what is really happening in our world. In a way, the government placates us so we don’t ask questions, so we don’t take a look at the hidden agenda of the government. Politicians, much like in this story, are the voyeurs of the world and when you really think about it, it is pretty frightening.
Android Love, Human Skin is not so much a character driven story. Take what you know about plot points and characterization and throw it out the window. The main story looks a lot like fluff, but underneath all the layers of sex is a brilliantly crafted message to all of us, one that needs to be said and heard.
About The Author:
Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Ersatz World, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied, Buffalo And Sour Mash, Locked In Cages, Crystal On Electric Acetate, The Glass House, Android Love, Human Skin, and Insincerity. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. He also teaches creative writing at University and workshops. You can find out more about him at his website www.richardgodwin.net , where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.
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